Will these automaker stocks outperform in the second half of 2014?

By Chris Lau for Kapitall.

June sales for automobiles could slump, contrasting the strong sales in the previous month. If Edmonds.com is right, then the big three could see weaker sales.

Edmonds.com forecasts GM’s ( GM) sales will fall by 8.5% and 6.5% for Ford ( F). Conversely, Toyota Motors ( TM) could grow sales by 1.3% in June. Despite the setback for the American automakers, Ford is the outperformer in the last six months.

New leadership at Ford should reinvigorate shares further. Ford is set to get a new CEO, as Alan Mulally plans for retirement on July 1. This will be succeeded by Mark Fields. Mulally simplified operations so that it could run more profitably. With Fields in charge, investors should not expect many operational changes at Ford. Instead, the company is set to focus more on advertising its brand and product. Ford’s growth now depends on standing out against the other automobiles.

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After bottoming in 2012, GM’s shares continued its ascent up until quality issues in its products surfaced. GM is on the rise once again, but slower demand, litigation risks, and pressure on profitability could hurt its shares.

Other than make a recall for around 650,000 cars due to defective airbags, Toyota continues to introduce more fuel efficient options for consumers. The firm said it will sell the first fuel-cell car by March 2015 in Japan.

Bottom line

Ford is still defined by its pickup truck, but it has work to do in boosting consumer interest in its sedan and compact cars. Higher consumer demand for fuel efficiency favors Ford’s hybrid and compact car offerings. Ford just needs to advertise effectively to win against other fierce automotive competitors.

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