However hard the market slams a stock, there's always the chance it'll come bouncing right back. We'll consult our Motley Fool CAPS community to find shares on the rebound, examining one specific sector of the economy in search of companies with rising CAPS ratings.    

There are 54 stocks listed under automotive in the CAPS' screener, but we've found more than a few that are well-respected with four- and five-star ratings. Those accolades mean our 170,000 CAPS members are confident that these stocks will beat the market in the months ahead, but let's see what members are saying about the ones below:


CAPS Rating Today

Recent Price

52-Week Price Change


5-Year Growth Rate

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) **** $31.40 17% 27%
Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM) **** $26.60 118% 35%
Wonder Auto Technology (Nasdaq: WATG) ***** $8.51 (33%) 21%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS; Yahoo! Finance.

The markets may be feeling better about the economy after a few reports offset much of the drumbeat of negativism, and with the S&P 500 up almost 10% over last year, CAPS automotive stocks have done significantly better. The average stock is up 46% from a year ago. Standout performances include those by trailer maker Wabash National, which has nearly tripled year over year, and even Ford (NYSE: F), which was up 87%.

So let's take a closer look at why investors think some of these other companies won't be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Some spring in its step
My colleague John Rosevear asks a good question: As popular as electric vehicles seem to be, is anyone really going to buy them in appreciable numbers? And he points to a disturbing trend in there being so many electric battery makers building out capacity that we may soon have a glut of inventory.

That should be a concern for Johnson Controls, which -- in partnership with France-based Saft -- is eyeing a place as a leading EV battery maker alongside Advanced Battery Technologies, A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE), and Valence Technologies (Nasdaq: VLNC). Yet unlike its energy storage rivals, Johnson Controls still derives significant revenues from climate control equipment, car seats, solar energy products, and more.

With 95% of the more than 1,000 CAPS members rating the auto parts supplier to outperform the broad market averages, it's clear they still believe it will bring market-beating performances for some time.

Tata Motors is attacking the need for more fuel-efficient vehicles by building small ones. Really small ones. But whether the super-cheap Nano will prove as popular here in the U.S., with its bulging waistlines and taller frames, remains to be seen. (Typically, Americans have been taller than the rest of the world, though the Dutch men now tower over us by 1.8 inches and Dutch women are 2.2 inches taller than U.S. women).

Since Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford more than two years ago, its ability to consistently generate positive free cash flows has been severely challenged. Still, CAPS member gse46 thinks the Nano gives Tata a mega competitive advantage.

Pay close attention to the fact that TATA motors has been working with many local India banks to offer good loans specifc to the Nano. Also, the gas [mileage] that the Nano brings will be a huge selling point in India. Even at todays prices I think TTM is still on a pace to beat the S&P....and the sell force of the Nano will ensure that!

Driving a bargain
Not many companies in the sector have performed worse than Wonder Auto Technology. Even Toyota (NYSE: TM), with its well-publicized recalls, has fared better than the Chinese auto parts supplier. And considering Sorl Auto Parts and China Automotive Systems are both up a lot over the past year, it's not a country-specific decline. Even Johnson Controls is expanding in China, expecting its new factories to support an installed capacity of 30 million car batteries.

CAPS member bofors writes that there are a number of reasons why Wonder Auto should be a $10 stock in the next few months, including it being a "part of the nascent Chinese automotive industry, which is expect to grow significantly with the Chinese middle class's demand for cars that is already the largest market in the world."

Having made several acquisitions, he expects it to grow and outperform the market. But you can tell us on the Wonder Auto Technology CAPS page if you think it's worth taking this parts supplier for a spin.

The ball's in your court
There are many factors that go into whether a stock is a buy or a sell, so it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. Head over to CAPS today and share your thoughts with other investors on whether you think these stocks are ready to bound higher.

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True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any stocks right now, as you can see here. The Fool has a disclosure policy.