3 Auto Stocks Going Places: Buick Drives Chinese Sales for GM, Ford Cuts Focus EV Price, and Toyota’s Bulging Patent Portfolio
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM): Sales in China have surpassed sales in the U.S. for the first six months of the year, making the most populous country on Earth the largest market for GM, ahead of the United States. While the Buick brand has struggled domestically, it’s been met with great success in China, aided by GM’s portfolio of 12 joint venture projects in the country. Sales topped 1.6 million in China for the period while topping 1.4 million stateside.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): In keeping with industry trends, Ford is dropping the price of its Focus EV by $4,000, from $39,200 to $35,200. The price is still a $6,000 premium over Nissan’s popular Leaf, but Ford executives assure that the new price will make the Focus sedan more competitive. “We’re not going to chase down to the lowest price possible — that doesn’t make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product,” Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of global electrification, said last month.
Toyota Motor Co. (NYSE:TM): Toyota didn’t reach the top of the pack last year by luck. Records indicate that the company was issued 1,491 patents in 2012. Two Toyota engineers at the Toyota Technical Center (NYSE:TTC) in Michigan — Minjuan Zhang, a manager at Toyota Research Institute NA, and Charan Lota, a manager of electronic systems at the technical center – each earned their 20th patent during the year. USA Today says that patents “reflect automakers’ successes in research and development and also signal their ability to create tomorrow’s breakthroughs.”