3 Auto Stocks Going Places: GM Sees Gains in China, Tesla’s Shares Down, Ford Pays Big to Close Belgian Plant
General Motors CO. (NYSE:GM): General Motors has reported that its local division in China saw a 12.2 percent year-over-year improvement to 282,446 units in October, continuing the double-digit trend of growth seen throughout the year. For the year to date, General Motors and its China joint ventures have sold 2.595 million vehicles, up 11.2 percent from the year previous; GM China President Bob Socia said that the company’s China sales were likely to grow this year by 300,000 to 3 million vehicles, Reuters reports.
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA): Shares are down even after a report suggests that uptake in China is substantial, and that although the company has yet to receive approval from the country to formally sell its cars, it has been taking in reservation deposits through its Beijing location that opened over the weekend. The company’s planned allotment of 100 cars looks like it will quickly sell out; a local auto analyst notes that the Model S sedan will be an enticing toy for Chinese higher-ups, and a positive response from the wealthy could help spur more development of an EV infrastructure in China.
Ford (NYSE:F): A year ago, Ford announced that it would close its Genk, Belgium factory, stopping production entirely at the end of 2014. Now, severance costs of the Genk factory and two other plants in Britain are adding up to an estimated $1 billion. Following the initial announcement, the 4,300 workers employed by the factory successfully prevented the plant from operating normally for more than four months; the settlement Ford eventually reached with the approximately 4,000 blue-collar workers at Gent cost the company nearly $750 million, or about $190,00 per worker, a figure which does not include the amount the company still needs to negotiate with the factory’s remaining white-collar employees. The decision came after years of continual losses in Europe, where many factories are operating at only 60 percent capacity; the move is allowing Ford to consolidate its production at a factory in Valencia, Spain.
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