In today's edition, Industrials editor and analyst Brendan Byrnes discusses rising gas prices and how they affect automakers. More expensive ethanol, numerous refinery issues across the U.S., and the continuing uncertainty over Iran are combining to push gas prices up at the end of the summer. Toyota has long been a beneficiary of high gas prices and should continue to be, especially with its Prius lineup selling incredibly well. Honda's reputation for great small cars should also benefit it.

But one of the more interesting stories is Ford, which, like GM, used to be crippled when gas prices rose. That's because the domestic automakers placed a huge emphasis on gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs for profits, while often selling small cars at a loss. Alan Mulally changed all that when he arrived at Ford in 2006, and it can now compete in the small car segment with cars like the Focus actually making money for Ford. Check out the video below for more on Ford and the other big automakers, and how they're affect by gas prices.  

Ford has been performing incredibly well as a company over the past few years -- it's making good vehicles, is consistently profitable, recently reinstated its dividend, and has done a remarkable job paying down its automotive debt. But Ford's stock has underperformed the market in 2012. Does this create an incredible buying opportunity, or are there hidden risks with the stock that investors need to know about? To answer that, one of our top equity analysts has compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on whether Ford is a buy right now, and why. Simplyclick here to get instant access to this premium report.

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.