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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: Ford Stock Surges Higher After Positive October Sales

See the latest news for the top stocks in the electric vehicle space including Tesla, General Motors, NIO, and more.

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report edged even higher Wednesday as the automaker reported better-than-expected vehicle sales for October and as the industry tries to work through the semiconductor shortage.

Ford reported sales of 175,918 new vehicles in October, down 4% from a year earlier but improved over prior months. Truck sales were off 7%, while SUV sales rose 12.8%. Ford brand SUVs posted their best October retail sales in 21 years.

Retail sales were up 17.4% from a year earlier on the strength of the new Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Mustang Mach-E. The three new SUVs drove sales higher with total combined sales of 19,413 SUVs.

Ford said October was "an electrified sales record for Ford," with 14,062 electrified vehicles sold, triple the year-earlier number.

The company's E-Transit is sold out and the electric F-150 Lightning has more than 160,000 reservations.

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Lucid Motors  (LCID) - Get Lucid Group, Inc. Report and Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Xpeng Inc Report both also moved higher, while Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares have been booming to new all-time highs as its shares passed the $1 trillion dollar mark this past week. There's solid momentum in the electric vehicle space lately, as stocks like General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report have been rallying for the past month.

Here are the top electric vehicle stocks to watch:

Tesla to Recall Nearly 12,000 Vehicles

Tesla shares fell on Tuesday, dropping nearly 5% in premarket trading after the electric vehicle giant said it is recalling nearly 12,000 vehicles due to a software communications error issue that can trigger false forward-collision warnings. Tweets from Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk indicating its recently announced agreement with rental car giant Hertz Global  (HTZ) - Get Hertz Global Holdings Inc Report isn't a done deal also added pressure to the stock.

Tesla said the recall of 11,704 Model S, X, 3, and Y vehicles was prompted after a software update on Oct. 23 to vehicles in its limited early access Full-Self Driving (Beta) population.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Tesla as a Buy with a rating score of B.

Ford Will Require 32,000 Salaried Employees to Get Vaccinated

Ford will require 32,000 of its salaried employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine or go on unpaid leave. The car manufacturer is giving its full-time workforce until Dec. 8 to get the shot, according to CNBC. While the company will allow medical and religious exemptions, those who refuse the shot without one will be placed on unpaid leave with job protection for 30 days. No information yet exists on what will happen after those 30 days run out.

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Company spokeswoman Monique Brentley said in an email to CNBC that 84% of those employees have already been vaccinated but the mandate is necessary as part of “measures in place to protect our team.”

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Ford as a Buy with a rating score of B.

General Motors Listed By Barclays As a Stock to Provide Investors Growth and Value

Barclays has compiled a list of five stocks that it says provide investors growth and value, including General Motors and Ford. GM recently traded at $56, up 0.7%, and Morningstar analyst David Whiston put the fair value at $68. “We think General Motors' vehicles are of the best quality and design in decades,” Whiston wrote last month. "The company is already a leader in trucks, so a competitive lineup in all segments, combined with a much smaller cost base, says to us that GM is starting to realize the scale to match its size," he added. 

The head of Consumer Reports automotive testing even said Toyota and Honda could learn from the Chevrolet Malibu. “We think GM's earnings potential is excellent because the company has a healthy North American unit and a nearly mature finance arm with GM Financial."

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates GM as a Buy with a rating score of B.

NIO Delivers Disappointing Number of Vehicles in October 

NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report shares jumped Monday regardless of the automaker delivering a disappointing 3,667 vehicles in October. The stock is down almost 28% year-over-year. A restructuring in production lines coupled with supply chain issues drove the decline. "It’s no surprise that shares spilled lower in premarket trading as a result. However, the reversal is impressive," wrote TheStreet's Bret Kenwell.

NIO stock bottomed in May when the bear market in growth stocks came to an end. Amid the stock’s most recent correction, shares bottomed in early October and gave investors a higher low to work with. So far, the stock is forming a giant wedge, marked by higher lows and lower highs.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates NIO as a Sell with a rating score of D.

Rivian to Launch an IPO Backed By Amazon And Ford

Rivian is the latest electric vehicle startup about to launch as an initial public offering. With major backing by Amazon, T. Rowe Price, and even Ford, the company is on solid footing in becoming a major player in the EV space. Rivian said in its filing that it plans to offer 135 million shares priced between $57 and $62, and is looking to increase its valuation to between $54 billion and up to $60 billion with an option for underwriters to purchase additional shares.

With just two models thus far, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV, Rivian is also developing a delivery van for Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report, which has said it plans to have 10,000 vans on the road by 2022 and 100,000 by 2030. Amazon has revealed that it has a 20% stake in Rivan and Ford holds a roughly 12% stake in the startup.

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for Rivian.