4 Auto Stocks to Watch This Week

Sales for light vehicles in the U.S. climbed 3.1% compared to last year, with 1.6 million units in March. Lower retail sales contributed to slower sales growth, pushing SAAR to 16.56 million units, the lowest level since February 2015.

But several automakers made headlines this week. Here are four auto stocks to watch:

Ford (NYSE:F)

Two new investments were announced by Ford this week. The first is a $1.6 billion investment in a small car plant, which will be constructed in Mexico. The second investment, totaling $170 million, will be allocated to expansion of the company’s operations at its Pretoria, South Africa plant. The South Africa investment will be used to support the production of Ford’s Ranger and Everest.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla has been making headlines all week after it announced its long-awaited Model 3. The four-door electric sedan that gets 215 miles per charge and features Tesla’s Autopilot hardware has received over 325,000 reservations so far. The vehicle, which requires just a $1,000 deposit, was unveiled last Saturday in California. The Model 3 will be produced in late 2017.

Toyota (NYSE:TM)

Toyota announced a partnership with Microsoft (MFST) to boost its network security, telematics research and data analytics for its Internet-connected vehicles. The pair is planning to connect car services by combining wireless and computer technologies to offer drivers real-time traffic information, entertainment and other relevant information.

Toyota has already launched its data science hub, based in Plano, TX. The Connected plans will use Microsoft’s Azure to personalize the driving experience and boost safety.

The initial investment for Toyota Connected Car services will be $5.5 million.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP)

Advance Auto Parts will be replacing interim CEO George Sherman with Thomas Greco. Greco will take the helm starting April 11. Sherman will continue serving as President of Advance Auto Parts. Greco will also serve as director of the company.

Tesla was the only automaker to post gains over the last week, with Toyota leading the decliners. Tesla was also the biggest gainer over the last six months. Honda Motor Co. (HMC) saw the biggest losses over the last six months.

A few automakers are expected to release their March sales data for China and Europe in the next week.

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Daniel Simmons