Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota Motor, General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motors

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com Analyst Blog features: Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F),  Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) and Nissan Motors (OTC: NSANY).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Auto Sales Climb the Ladder

Light vehicle sales in the U.S. during December rose 12.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12.55 million units, reflecting a continuous recovery in the industry. All the major automakers except Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted an increase in sales.

U.S. Automakers              

Sales at General Motors (NYSE: GM) scaled up 7.5% to 224,185 vehicles. The combined sales of GM's four brands – Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac – went up 15.5% to 223,932 vehicles during the month.

Sales at Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), comprised of its namesake, Lincoln and Mercury brands, grew 6.7% to 190,976 units. The automaker's sales were strongly driven by new Ford F-150, Fusion and Edge. Meanwhile, sales at Chrysler (including its namesake, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands) rose 16.4% to 100,702 units.

Japanese Automakers

Sales at Toyota slid 5.5% to 177,488 vehicles as a 13% fall in passenger car sales offset gains in SUV and light truck sales. However, sales at Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) surged 21% to 129,616 vehicles, driven by improvements across most of the major models. Meanwhile, sales at Nissan Motors (OTC: NSANY) soared 27.7% to 93,730 vehicles.

Other Automakers

Sales at Daimler AG, including Mercedes-Benz (cars, light trucks and Sprinter) and smart vehicles, inched up 5.5% to 22,039 units. However, Korean automaker Hyundai reported an impressive 33% gain in sales to 44,802 vehicles. Meanwhile, German automaker Volkswagen posted a 17% rise in sales to 23,867 vehicles.

The sales trend in December is indicative of the rebound in consumer confidence. The consumers are inclined to make big ticket purchases now given the resurgence in employment. For full year 2011, industry sales are projected to rise 11.2% to 12.9 million vehicles from 11.6 million in 2010.

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