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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor

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CHICAGO, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. Autos, including General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

A synopsis of today's Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/77729/auto-industry-stock-outlook-june-2012

The auto industry is highly concentrated. The top-10 global automakers account for roughly 80% of the worldwide production and nearly 90% of total vehicles sold in the U.S.

In January-May 2012, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) led with a 17.8% market share in the U.S., followed by Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) with a 15.6% market share, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) with a 14.5% market share, Chrysler-Fiat with a 11.5% market share, and Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC: NSANY) at the last spots with 9.6% and 8.1% market shares, respectively.

Due to a massive structural change after the global economic meltdown in 2008, the global auto industry is expected to be ruled by automakers and suppliers based in the six major auto markets: China, India, Japan, Korea, Western Europe and the U.S.

Green Cars Rising fuel prices and global warming have turned attention to the auto industry that either rely less on traditional fossil fuels or use cheaper renewable sources of energy. Thus, "green" alternatives such as fuel-efficient electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles will attract consumers in affluent countries while flex-fuels such as ethanol and natural gas will be highly demanded in the emerging auto markets due to their suitability with the local climate and resource base.

Consequently, there will be a variety of powertrain technologies in the auto industry in this decade and "green" cars are likely to represent about 30% of total global sales in developed auto markets.

Globally, the hybrid market is ruled by Toyota (which includes the popular Prius) and Honda (includes Civic and Insight hybrids). Meanwhile, other automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Nissan are also aggressively pursuing a plan to push hybrid sales. Some of their "green" cars have already generated huge responses in the auto industry, including the Ford Focus, GM Volt, Nissan Leaf, among others.

In late 2011, Ford and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding on the equal product development collaboration in order to develop a gas-electric hybrid engine for pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). The automakers have decided to sign a definitive agreement that would lay out timelines to develop the technology. They expect to market the product by the end of this decade. The development of electric hybrid engines would help both the companies meet stringent fuel economy and pollution standards in the U.S. and elsewhere in the near future.

GM also plans to manufacture a luxury electric car dubbed ELR based on the technology used in its Volt plug-in hybrid for its Cadillac brand as a part of its long-term goal to become a leader in the fuel-efficient vehicles market.

U.S. is the largest hybrid car market in the world, with sales accounting for 60%-70% of global hybrid sales. According to J.D. Power and Associates, hybrid-electric vehicle sales volumes in the country are expected to grow by 268% between 2005 and 2012.

Presently, there are only 12 hybrid models available in the U.S., which would increase to 52 by 2012. Didier Leroy, head of Toyota's European operations, has revealed that the percentage of consumers in Europe interested in hybrid cars for their next car purchase has increased to 16% in 2011 from 8%-9% in 2009.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=2679.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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