The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor, General Motors and Ford Motor

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor,
                        General Motors and Ford Motor

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Dec. 14, 2012

CHICAGO, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY),
Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), General Motors
Company (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F).


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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

China Auto Sales Approach 2-Year High

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM),
passenger vehicle sales in China went up 8.2% to 1.79 million units in
November, driven by steep discounts to tighten inventory by dealers at the end
of the year and strong pent-up demand. It was the highest sales in almost two
years. In the first 11 months of the year, sales grew 4% to 17.5 million
vehicles in the country.

Wholesale deliveries (including multipurpose and sport utility vehicles or
SUVs) rose 8.75% to 1.46 million units while deliveries of commercial vehicles
escalated 5.6% to329,700 units in November. Dealer inventories fell 2.8% to
777,500 vehicles from October due to rising discounts, according to CAAM.

Sales of SUVs – the fastest growing class of vehicles in China – spiked 18% to
189,200 units in November. Meanwhile, the same in the first 11 months of the
year swelled 26% to 1.79 million units.

Sales of Japanese automakers plunged (36.1%) on a year-over-year basis
triggered by the conflict between Beijing and Tokyo over a group of
uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that led buyers to avoid purchasing
their vehicles.

Their market share dipped to 16.6% in the month under study from 17% in
October and 19.4% at the end of 2011. However, sales of Japanese automakers
improved by 72.2% from October to 170,200 cars, showing signs of recovery.

Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY) – which occupies the biggest market share in the
country – posted a 30% fall in sales to 79,500 units during the month.
Meanwhile, sales at Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) shrank 29% to 41,205 vehicles
and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) ebbed 22% to 63,800 vehicles.

The non-Japanese automakers have benefited from the plight of Japanese
automakers in China during the month. Most of their sales improved during the

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), the biggest foreign automaker in China,
registered a 9.7% growth in sales to 260,018 vehicles, driven by impressive
sales of Chevrolet and Buick brands. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) sales jumped 56%
to 67,505 vehicles during the month.

Auto sales in China had grown at a double-digit pace since 1999, except in
2008 when the global economic crisis crept in. In 2009, China overtook the
U.S. as the biggest auto market in the world by sales volumes when the Beijing
government introduced a stimulus package, including tax incentives for small
cars with engine sizes of 1.6 liters or smaller.

However, the incentives were scrapped last year and the Beijing government
imposed quotas on new car registrations in order to control the traffic
congestions. As a result, new car deliveries plummeted 56% to 403,500 units in

Nevertheless, China's automotive industry outlook is promising in 2012 and
beyond. According to CAAM, passenger car sales in 2012 is expected to grow by
9% in the country, which is much higher than 2011 (2.5%).

Most of the industry experts expect a double-digit rise in sales in 2013.
Total sales may surpass 20 million vehicles during the year.

Auto sales in the U.S. grew 15% to 1.14 million vehicles or 15.5 million on a
seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis in November, driven by strong
pent-up demand generated from Hurricane Sandy as well as from the aging
vehicles, and improving macroeconomic conditions. It was the five-year high
sales recorded by the industry since 2007.

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