General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Volkswagen AG highlighted in Zacks Analyst Blog:

   General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Volkswagen AG
                      highlighted in Zacks Analyst Blog:

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com 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 General Motors Company (GM), Ford
Motor Co. (F), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), Honda Motor Co. (HMC), and Volkswagen
AG (VLKAY).

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

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

China Auto Sales Lag Guidance

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), vehicle
sales in China grew 4.3% to 19.3 million units in 2012, including a 7.1% gain
in December to 1.8 million units. Despite being higher than the 2011-level of
2.5%, sales growth is lower than the 8% growth projected by CAAM as well as
the double-digit growth in 2009 and 2010.

The lower-than-expected growth can be attributable to a sluggish economy,
rising fuel costs, weak Japanese automakers sales owing to a conflict between
Beijing and Tokyo, and drastic steps taken by a few major cities to curb
traffic congestion and emission levels.

Sales by Automakers

The U.S. automakers, includingGeneral Motors Company (GM) and Ford Motor Co.
(F), performed quite well in China in 2012. GM posted an impressive 23.2% rise
in sales to 242,486 vehicles, driven mainly by a hefty 41.7% gain in sales at
its joint-venture with SAIC Motor Corp. For the full year, the company's sales
grew 11.3% to 2.84 million units. Meanwhile, Ford sold 626,616 vehicles in the
year, up 21% from 2011. The company's December sales surged 43% to 70,510
vehicles.

Sales of Japanese automakers lagged due to the above-mentioned conflict. Sales
of Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) slid 4.9% to 840,000 vehicles in 2012, including a
fall of 16% in December to 90,400 vehicles. However, the automaker is
optimistic about 2013. It expects sales growth of 7% in 2013, which is higher
than its global target of 2%.

Sales of Honda Motor Co. (HMC) dipped 3.1% to 598,577 vehicles in the year,
including a significant 19.2% fall in December to 63,264 vehicles.

Among the other automakers, Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) sold 2.81 million vehicles
in the year, up 24.5% from 2011.

2013 Outlook

According to CAAM, auto sales in China are expected to rise 7% to more than 20
million vehicles in 2013, led by strong demand for passenger vehicles and
economic recovery. The association believes sports utility vehicles (SUVs)
will remain the fastest- growing segment in the year while commercial vehicles
will record a moderate gain in sales.China Versus U.S.

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. China accounted for a third of light vehicle sales growth in the last
five years.

Auto sales in the U.S. grew 13.4% to the five-year high of 14.5 million
vehicles in 2012 including a 9% rise to 1.4 million in December last year. A
host of macroeconomic factors helped the industry reach the height. They
include improving consumer confidence, falling unemployment and improvement in
home sales and prices.

Sales were also fueled by strong pent-up demand, due to both aging vehicles
(average age of a car reached 11 years) and the need to replace damaged
vehicles from Hurricane Sandy. Banks were also friendlier as they offered
greater access to loans with lower interest rates.

Today, Zacks is promoting Four daily picks are offered free.

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