BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- It's been an inauspicious few years for the auto industry. From bankruptcies at two of Detroit's Big Three automakers and a handful of suppliers to high-profile recalls at Toyota ( TM), auto investors have reason to be skeptical about a comeback in cars. But that's exactly why a few car stocks are worth watching right now. With credit starting to trickle to consumers again, scores of automotive stocks stand to benefit in a big way.
Tesla Motors ( TSLA) was a household name well before its June IPO. The company, which manufactures high-performance electric production cars, had been grabbing headlines for years on the appeal of its hyped-up Tesla Roadster, a battery electric sports car produced at the company's California facilities. But shares have languished some since the company went public earlier this summer -- and shorts have been out in force, pushing Tesla's short interest ratio up to 9.4.
Car super-dealer Penske Automotive Group ( PAG) may not be a vehicle manufacturer, but it nearly was not too long ago. The firm was set to purchase the ailing Saturn brand from General Motors until the deal fell apart last year over manufacturing concerns. Now back to its core business of selling cars, Penske is facing additional pressure from a slow auto market -- a factor that's helped push the company's short ratio to 13.6.
A turnaround in the freight business could present a growth catalyst for Rush Enterprises ( RUSHA), a truck and construction equipment retailer with a network of 50 dealerships and service centers across the Southern U.S. The company, which currently sports a short ratio of 18.1, could be a short squeeze candidate if that investment thesis plays out.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.