3 Auto Stocks Going Places: Tesla’s Bullish Upgrade, Ford’s Executive Shuffle, and Honda’s Plans for the Ridgeline

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA): Tesla has received a bullish upgrade from Northland Capital’s Colin Rusch, who put a Street-high $230 price target on the shares. He justified the decision by noting that with a little bit of re-tooling, the company’s current Fremont facilities could “accommodate a run rate of as many as 500K vehicles/year.” The biggest question now is whether demand for the premium vehicles could support such a production rate.

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): Ford has named Hau Thai-Tang, formerly vice president at the automaker’s engineering division, as head of global purchasing. Thai-Tang will take over from the retiring Tony Brown. Thai-Tang — who will report to Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer – will take the reigns officially on August 1st, and will be in charge of a $90 billion purchasing operation. Kumar Galhotra has been appointed to Thai-Tang’s former post as vice president of engineering.

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Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC): Honda will be taking a two year hiatus before releasing the next variant of its Ridgeline pickup truck, according to Ward’s Auto. The production of the model’s current generation is supposedly going to end in September of 2014, while the next generation will pick up again in 2016. “[While] we don’t comment on future product decisions, Ridgeline continues to be an important part of our lineup, and we’re pleased with Ridgeline sales, up 24 percent year-on-year and 32 percent in June,” said Honda’s Detroit-based spokesman Steve Kinkade.

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