SOURCE: Research Driven Investing

Research Driven Investing

February 26, 2013 08:20 ET

Improvements in the U.S. Economy to Keep Vehicle Sales Climbing in 2013

RDInvesting Provides Stock Research on Honda and Toyota

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - Signs of an improving U.S. housing market combined with upbeat readings on U.S. consumer confidence have continued to fuel to Auto Industry's rally in 2013. estimates that approximately 1.2 million new vehicles were sold in February, a year over year increase of 4.3 percent, and a 15 percent increase when compared to January's sales. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Auto Manufacturers Industry and provides equity research on Honda Motor Co Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM).

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The Federal Reserve's policy of keeping interest rates near-zero has benefitted the auto industry as a majority of Americans rely on loans to purchase new vehicles. Marketing firm LMC Automotive projects new vehicle sales to grow to 15.3 million in 2013.

"The current fundamentals that are driving strong vehicle sales--pent-up vehicle demand and a stable, recovering economy--are expected to get a boost by additional positive factors this year," said Jeff Schuster, LMC's senior vice president. "An expected recovery in the housing market, and 50% more new-model launches, combined with an increase in lease maturities, should keep light-vehicle sales climbing throughout the year."

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Honda has recently announced it has developed a new technology to combine steel and aluminum, and has applied it to the outdoor panel of vehicles, which regularly are made out of steel. The company will begin to apply this technology to their North American version of the all-new Acura RLX, which will go on sale in the United States in March 2013.

Shares of Toyota have gained nearly 9 percent year-to-date. The company reported consolidated vehicle sales for the nine month period ended December 31, 2012 totaled 6.629 million units, an increase of approximately 25 percent when compared to the year ago period. North American vehicle sales increased by 596,587 units to 1.865 million for the nine month period ended December 31, 2012.

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