The auto industry is comprised of companies that manufacture passenger and commercial vehicles, such as Ford Motor Co. (F) and General Motors Co. (GM). There are also newer companies, such as Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which only makes electric vehicles. Aside from those that make cars, trucks, and other vehicles, there are companies that supply parts to these companies.

Car stocks, as represented by the First Trust Nasdaq Global Auto ETF (CARZ), have dramatically outperformed the broader market in the past 12 months. CARZ posted a 93.3% total return in the last 12 months compared to the 38.3% return of the Russell 1000. These performance figures and all figures in the tables below are as of June 3, except for those for Workhorse Group (WKHS), which are as of June 4, 2021.

Here are the top 3 car stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Car Stocks

These are the car stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Car Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Porsche Automobil Holding SE (POAHY) 12.02 36.8 8.7
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) 33.06 57.1 9.1
General Motors Co. (GM) 63.46 92.1 10.3

Source: YCharts

  • Porsche Automobil Holding SE: Porsche Automobil Holding SE is a German holding company whose subsidiaries specialize in the manufacturing of high-performance sports cars, SUVs, and sedans.
  • Honda Motor Co., Ltd.: Honda, based in Japan, primarily manufactures and sells cars and light trucks. This business generates the most revenue, but there are also motorcycle, financial services, and life creation/other (e.g. power products like generators and lawn motors) segments.
  • General Motors Co.: General Motors makes and sells sedans, SUVs, light trucks and other vehicles. On June 3, the company announced that it would increase deliveries of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles to dealers and customers in the U.S. and Canada to meet demand. GM expects that its H1 2021 results will be "significantly better than prior guidance," adding that it is optimistic about the full year.

Fastest Growing Car Stocks

These are the top car stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Car Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
XPeng Inc. (XPEV) 35.95 28.9 N/A (see company description) 670.6
Nio Inc. (NIO) 40.90 67.0 N/A (see company description) 526.1
Workhorse Group Inc. (WKHS) 14.77 1.8 N/A (see company description) 518.1

Source: YCharts

  • XPeng Inc.: XPeng is a Chinese maker of electric vehicles. The company also provides financing services, parts, and maintenance to customers in China. In May 2021, XPeng delivered 5,686 vehicles, representing an increase of nearly 500% YOY. XPeng does not have a figure in the EPS growth column above because it posted negative EPS in Q1 2021.
  • Nio Inc.: NIO is a Chinese company that builds and sells electric vehicles and parts. It also offers a range of battery services, including battery charging and battery swapping. The company delivered 6,711 vehicles in May 2021, an increase of 95.3% YOY. NIO reported negative EPS for Q1 2021 so EPS growth is not applicable in the table above.
  • Workhorse Group Inc.: Workhorse Group designs and builds all-electric delivery trucks and aircraft. It also develops cloud-based telematics performance monitoring systems. Workhorse Group posted negative EPS in Q1 2021 so EPS growth is not applicable in the table above.

Car Stocks With the Most Momentum

These are the car stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Car Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (GP) 17.04 0.4 753.2
NIO Inc. (NIO) 40.90 67.0 630.4
Workhorse Group (WKHS) 14.77 1.8 400.7
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 38.3
First Trust Nasdaq Global Auto ETF (CARZ) N/A N/A 93.3

Source: YCharts

  • GreenPower Motor Company Inc.: GreenPower Motor Company is a Canada-based electric vehicle maker. The company designs, engineers, builds, and sells zero-emission vehicle city transit electric buses as well as bikes.
  • NIO Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Workhorse Group Inc.: See above for company description.

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