The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which Brendan Byrnes, industrials editor and analyst, and Austin Smith, consumer goods editor and analyst, discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Brendan and Austin take a look at how the European debt crisis is weighing on these companies. We recently saw some disappointing November numbers on auto sales out of Europe. How do the European shipping companies, often viewed as indicators of the overall economy, fare in all of this?

Ford and GM are two of Brendan’s favorite stocks going into 2012, but if you want to see the one company that our chief investment officer picked out for explosive 2012 growth, check out The Motley Fool's brand new report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America. You can get instant access to the name of this company by clicking here -- it's free.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.