Ford and Tesla Motors Look to Benefit From Rising U.S. Auto Sales

U.S. auto sales have seen an impressive rise in 2012 as an improving economy and high gas prices have boosted demand for newer and more fuel efficient vehicles. The boost in the economy has allowed consumers to replace aging vehicles, which many had delayed during the recent economic downturn. Currently, the average vehicle on the road is a record 10.8 years old. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Auto Manufacturers Industry and provides equity research on Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA).

he industry continues to gain momentum despite high fuel prices and concerns of global economic issues. Sales for new vehicles in April rose 2.3 percent to 1.18 million according to researcher Autodata. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 14.4 million beat the estimate of 14.3 million of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. "Demand for automobiles is helping propel production," Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank in Chicago, wrote in an e-mail. "We expect this trend to continue even in the face of moderating economic winds abroad."

Ford Motor Company will produce nearly 40,000 additional vehicles this summer by idling 13 plants, including six assembly plants, for just one week instead of the traditional two. "We are working most of our North America plants at maximum capacity and we are adding production shifts in three of our assembly plants this month alone," said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing.

Tesla Motors designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and electric vehicle powertrain components. The company offers Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car. Shares of Tesla Motors jumped as much as 15 percent Thursday after the company released first-quarter results. For the first-quarter of 2012 the company reported revenue of $30.2 million.