Ford and GM Pump the Gas with These Moves

As Ford (NYSE:F) and GM (NYSE:GM) continue working their way out of recession-era holes, the leading U.S. automakers are pitching battles on various fronts. Ford is pushing engine production and offering discounts to confront realities in Europe, while GM is perfecting its Silverado trucks in hopes of eating into Ford’s F-Series dominance.

Ford has settled on a Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) approach to its European sales problems. Sluggish growth across the euro zone was expected to hurt sales, yet Ford is not taking it lightly. Deals on the Ford Fiesta have enticed consumers with 32 percent price decreases. Yet Ford is taking an offensive stance in the UK. The company announced plans to increase its engine production in Wales, which comes at a cost of $31 million. The plants will produce diesel and gas engines for cars in regional markets.

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GM has shown a commitment to winning every part of the automobile market. Its Chevy Volt has received excellent reviews for both design and efficiency in the electric car category, while the 2014 Chevy Silverado could represent a legitimate powerhouse in the pickup truck category. Little competition is expected from Ford (beyond its current F-Series models), but GM has invested big on getting its Silverado right the first time. The company is trying to avoid the costly recalls plaguing both Ford and Toyota (NYSE:TM) recently.Ford was faced to recall Taurus and Explorer in addition to Lincoln MKS vehicles–all over fuel tank concerns–which hurt the automaker’s otherwise stellar earnings report. Toyota had problems with airbags in several of its vehicles as well, forcing the world’s leading automotive producer back into the news for the wrong reasons.

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GM is trying to avoid this fate by releasing its new Silverado only after rigorous testing in a pursuit of perfection–an investment of more than $3 billion. None of these three companies are taking anything for granted as Volkswagen represents another manufacturer making headway in the world market. Ford and GM continue to demonstrate a desire to make better cars at maximum efficiency; a commitment reflected in their stock gains as well as sales figures. It is a good time to be on top of the U.S. auto industry.

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