Ford Gets Ready to Party and 2 Auto Stocks Going Places

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC): A study by Kelley Blue Book was released today indicating that Honda Motor has the best brand image of any major auto maker. The study takes results from 12,000 people who were shopping for a new car and using its web page to do research. According to the 2013 Brand Image Awards, Honda was the most trusted brand and considered the best value of all car brands in the survey. Honda was long a stalwart in North America, where it derives half its profits, but recently, it has had some stumbles, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Ford (NYSE:F): The company stated that 50 companies will sell special products like jackets, shirts, watches, and even pinball machines to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. The new merchandise is to include a new logo to mark the occasion. The logo emerged from an internal company design competition led by Ford Chief Creative Officer J Mays, and the winning logo was crafted by designer Michael Thompson features the Mustang’s trademark galloping pony in silhouette over the characters “50 YEARS.” Ford has intentions to reveal specific commemorative items over the coming weeks and months, and the company has planned a year-long anniversary party that it is kicking off here in New York as part of the New York Auto Show.

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Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM): The company’s global regions and management will gain more autonomy to design cars and trucks particularly aimed toward their home markets under a new management structure that was announced earlier this month, Bob Carter, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales, informed Detroit Free Press. Toyota’s public image was harmed due to recalls for unintended acceleration in 2009 and 2010, and it was slow to react and manage the crisis, partially because of a management structure preventing quick decision-making. Furthermore, the company was criticized for the bland and safe styling of its vehicles in recent years. A series of promotions and the appointment of outside board members announced that it is designed to address those issues, Carter stated in New York at the Automotive Forum.

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Investing Insights: Can Ford Climb Back On Top?