Ford Unveils 2015 F-150 but General Motors Sweeps Awards at Detroit Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show kicks off today in Detroit. Here are some of the early headlines.

Jan 13, 2014 at 3:00PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) found its way lower during midafternoon trading, down 0.90% with 27 of 30 members in the red, as investors wait for earnings season to hit full stride. The market is still figuring out how to digest Friday's disappointing jobs report. With that in mind, it's a big day for a handful of industrial companies.

In the aerospace industry, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) received a new U.N. Navy contract for automated test systems. The $103 million contract authorizes two low rate production options for the initial 36 electronic Consolidated Automated Support System, or eCASS, stations and support tech. 

The Navy will use eCASS to troubleshoot and repair aircraft assemblies while at sea or ashore. The system will allow equipment to return to readiness status more quickly and efficiently and will replace the CASS equipment deployed in the early 1990s.

"eCASS runs 20 percent faster, is even more reliable, and is highly compatible with legacy CASS stations," Randy Core, director of enterprise test solutions at Lockheed Martin mission systems and training, said in a Lockheed press release. "This speed and reliability will ultimately help the Navy increase aircraft availability."

Meanwhile, the world's largest automotive show kicked off for the media today. The North American International Auto Show in Detroit expects more than 5,000 automotive journalists and analysts, as well as 750,000 people looking to catch a future glimpse of what automakers are developing.

Chevrolet's 2014 Silverado and Corvette. Photo credit: General Motors.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) stirred up headlines early when the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Silverado were named 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year. The Corvette was up against the Mazda3 and Cadillac CTS for the award, while the Silverado topped the Acura MDX and Jeep Cherokee. Ford's (NYSE:F) all-new F-150 wasn't in the mix, as the entrants had to be introduced in 2013. This was the first time the Chevrolet brand has swept the awards, although General Motors took both honors in 2007 between its Saturn and Chevrolet brands. 


Ford's all-new 2015 F-150. Photo credit: Ford.

One of the biggest stories out there is the all-new Ford F-150 that was unveiled today. The company took fairly large risks by adding more aluminum to reduce the weight of the truck, while keeping its durability and "toughness" up to expectations. Ultimately, the truck appears to be as tougher and smarter than ever.

The 2015 F-150 dropped nearly 700 pounds and has an aluminum body, doors, and hood, while the frame remains steel just as on the current truck -- although Ford has increased the amount of high-strength steel used in the frame from 23% to 77%. Ford hasn't yet announced pricing for the 2015 truck, but most expect it to be in the same range as its predecessor: between $24,500 and $55,000. Ford's F-150 ended 2013 on a high note, selling more than 750,000 units, while the Silverado was a distant second place with 480,414 in sales. 

To optimize sales of its all-new full-size pickup Ford will need to convince consumers the addition of aluminum hasn't taken away from the F-150's performance capabilities -- this is especially important as it is the Blue Oval's most profitable vehicle. Expect the company to unleash many press releases and information to convey this message starting this week in Detroit.

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Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Lockheed Martin. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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