Ford Promoting Leadership and 4 Auto Stocks Revving Engines

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F):  According to Bloomberg, the directors of Ford Motor Co. are planning to promote Mark Fields, 51, from President of the Americas to Chief Operating Officer. This will put him in line as a possible successor to Chief Executive Officer, Alan Mulally, 67. Fields, a 23-year veteran of the car company, helped lead the transformation of their North American operations from record losses four years ago to record profits this year. The board will either vote this month or next.

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General Motors Company (NYSE:GM):  Kevin Wale, President of General Motors Company in China and Chief Country Operations Officer in China, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has announced that he will retire on October 31. Bob Socia, GM Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, will succeed Wale effective October 1.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM):  Toyota Motor Corporation announced an engaging new tagline today, “Let’s Go Places,” reflecting the company’s commitment to more exciting products and the promise that customers are invited to take part in shaping Toyota’s future. The new theme, which represents the vision of Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, was revealed today at the Toyota National Dealer Meeting in Las Vegas.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC):  According to analysts, a move by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. to reduce the amount of Rhodium used in auto catalysts is part of an ongoing effort to curtail the consumption of this or any other higher-cost metal. This worries manufacturers since a loss of demand has negative price implications for any commodity. Still, while one analyst said that efforts to use less Rhodium may mean a further dip in prices, any decline may be limited since the auto sector does not appear to be completely moving away from the metal.  Another analyst said despite Honda’s decision, Rhodium may still rise with the platinum group metals. This is due to improvement in auto sales as well as supply issues in South Africa.

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA): Tesla Motors Inc. is charging up its nationwide service network, nearly tripling the number of garages as the electric car company seeks to put more facilities within easy reach of customers. The Palo Alto-based company (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently launched a Fremont service center near its factory at 45500 Fremont Blvd. It already has a service center in Menlo Park at 300 El Camino Real. Next up: San Rafael, where Tesla has leased 8,000 square feet at 470 DuBois St., according to the Marin Independent Journal. That facility will be open by March. In all, 19 new service centers are planned across North America from Vancouver, British Columbia to Tampa, the company said Monday.

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