Tickers in this Article: HOG, DAI, HMC
The average American is watching the events surrounding the GM bankruptcy with more than just passing interest. Being a company of that size, in such an important part of the economy and responsible for so many jobs, GM is bound to garner a great deal of public interest. Beyond the job market, the story carries more meaning. How does the Obama government understand its role with regard to corporations of such magnitude, and what should America expect from similar occurrences in the future?

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Past this, however, interest likely wanes. But should it? Is now the time, in fact, to entertain the idea of investing in the auto industry? For those of a more contrarian bend, we offer the following names and a few key fundamentals to ponder. (Read Buy When There's Blood In The Streets, to learn how contrarian investors find value in the worst market conditions.)

But That's Not a Car
Harley Davidson
(NYSE:HOG) is as much a part of American life and folklore as General Motors, though for very different reasons. The maker of motorcycles carved out a name for itself by supplying a product to a diverse stratum of consumers, including police, bike gang outlaws and everyone in between.

Harley Davidson stock has been a stellar performer recently, rising over 125% off its 52 week lows a mere two months ago, to close on June 1 at $18.45. Harley Davidson also trades at a very reasonable P/E ratio of 7.4 and pays investors an annual dividend of about 2.1%. The company also enjoys a massive institutional following: 88% of its outstanding shares are held by investment professionals.

High End Remains High
Daimler AG (NYSE:DAI) may be more familiar to investors as the maker of Mercedes Benz cars, trucks and buses. The Stuttgart Germany-based company with a $41 billion market cap pays shareholders an annual dividend of 2.1%. The stock has climbed over 85% from recent lows to close at the time of writing at $39.76. It also trades at a discount to book value, with a current P/B of about 0.9.

Japanese Carmakers Up Significantly
Honda Motor Company
(NYSE:HMC), along with the rest of the Japanese automakers, is in large part responsible for the failure of GM and the difficulties experienced by the rest of America's automakers. Quality Japanese product at a cheaper price has over time eroded American carmakers' market share and cast doubt on their very viability.

Honda shares offer investors a nominal 1.50% yield and have bounced off their December 2008 lows of $17.35 to stand 70% higher currently, at $29.77.

The Wrap
Automakers are in trouble, yes. But they're not all going out of business. And if the latest GM news is as bad as it gets, then it can only get better. The wise will pay heed. (Find out what to consider before taking a ride with stocks from this industry in our article: Analyzing Auto Stocks.)

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