Ford INVESTING $135M in Next-Gen Batteries and 4 Auto Stocks Making Headlines Now

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F):  Ford Motor Co. is investing $135 million in the design, engineering and production of key components that include advanced battery systems for their next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles going into production this year. The company will launch five electric vehicles which will deliver leading fuel economy as part of their power of choice strategy.  By 2013, they expect to triple their electric vehicle production as well as improve their battery testing capabilities that will double their individual battery test channels, with a total of 160. The company is also dedicating a 285,000-square foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Mich., which will focus almost entirely on hybrids and electrification. In addition, Ford will be reducing the cost of their current hybrid system by 30%. Their shares traded up $0.08 (0.85%), they were recently at $9.52.

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General Motors Company (NYSE:GM):  According to the Detroit News, formal negotiations for a new contract began today in Toronto between General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and the Canadian Auto Workers. CAW President Ken Lewenza said there have been,”frank discussions,” concerning issues that include profit-sharing and top-tier wages. Their shares traded up $0.09 (0.45%), they were recently at $20.30.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM):  Sales of the Toyota Camry have risen more than 40 percent this year, and part of the reason is that the model is attracting younger customers. The Associated Press reports that sales of 244,000 Camrys through July were more than 60,000 units ahead of the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Their shares traded down $0.0 (0.0%), they were recently at $80.34.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC):  Honda plans to unveil their new Accord sedan at an Ohio factory next Monday. The company promises a more athletic look with all new engines and transmissions that will raise the car’s fuel efficiency. The Accord is important because it competes in the biggest segment of the United States. It has been in second place on the best car list, Toyota’s Camry is number one. Their shares traded up $0.24 (0.75%), they were recently at $32.16.

A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE):  According to Reuters, Senators Thune and Grassley sent a letter to Energy Secretary Chu, questioning their continued government investment in battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE). This is in light of a deal with the Chinese firm, Wanxiang Group Corp., who will invest $450 million in the troubled firm which will give them a controlling stake. Their shares traded down $0.027 (5.36%), they were recently at $0.473.

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