- With a unique combination of renewed supply chain troubles and the return to normal, these discounted auto stocks could eventually swing back higher.
- Toyota (TM): Commanding a reputation for reliability and fair prices, Toyota is among the major auto stocks poised to do well over the long run.
- General Motors (GM): Although General Motors shares have been beaten up, the company features several exciting projects in its pipeline.
- Volkswagen (VWAGY): Since 2010, Volkswagen stock has been steadily marching forward, making it one of the compelling auto stocks to buy now.
- Ferrari (RACE): Somewhat of a cynical play, Ferrari may be the most economically insulated among auto stocks to buy now.
- Lucid Group (LCID): While electric vehicles may not be fully ready for prime time, Lucid’s focus on the upper-income bracket draws some intrigue among auto stocks.
- CarMax (KMX): Despite losing significant momentum this year, CarMax may be one of the discounted auto stocks to buy now due to the necessity of transportation.
- Goodyear Tire (GT): Obviously not a direct play on auto stocks, Goodyear is risky due to the inflationary environment, yet it’s tied to a permanently relevant industry.
At first glance, the concept of wagering on discounted auto stocks to buy now sounds risky if not outright reckless due to harsh economic realities. With the inflation rate in April 2022 being exceptionally elevated at 8.3% — and exceeding analysts’ consensus target — consumers are incentivized to tighten their belts. Certainly, it’s no time to purchase a vehicle, so what gives?
The answer comes down to the unique circumstances that have combined to make auto stocks to buy now a surprisingly viable idea. First, the disruption of the global supply chain — initially from the coronavirus and later from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — has artificially elevated demand, demand that can’t be filled in any other manner. In other words, people need access to personal transportation.
Second, society is gradually returning to normal as fears of Covid-19 fade away. Under this scenario, workers may not be able to have their cake and eat it too, which may mean a return to the office. If so, it’s time for employees to kiss telecommuting goodbye and reengage real commuting, which cynically benefits the below discounted auto stocks to buy now.
One of the biggest names among auto stocks to buy, Toyota (NYSE:TM) has become iconic for delivering dependable rides at affordable prices. Though the company has moved into the premium luxury space with its Lexus brand, Toyota’s core identity remains the same. As evidence, it continues to attract industry accolades for its operational excellence and consumer accessibility.
Moving forward, the reputation for delivering dependability on the road should pay significant dividends — both literally and figuratively. While it’s true that households aren’t exactly eager to open their wallets for a new (or new to them) car, it’s not exactly a decision that they can completely control. Obviously, vehicles wear out and eventually require replacement, just like anything.
So, the thinking will likely be, if I must take the pain, I’d rather take it in a Toyota. That way, buyers can enjoy many years of reliable service before the next replacement, making TM one of the best discounted auto stocks to buy now.
General Motors (GM)
For decades, domestic car companies like General Motors (NYSE:GM) have earned a reputation — but not necessarily a good one. With Detroit seemingly committed to old school thinking (slapping a big V8 engine in a shoddy chassis and calling it a day), American passenger cars gradually faded into the background, overshadowed by their German and Japanese peers.
Well, GM decided to wake up from its slumber and it couldn’t have come at a better time. For one thing, the company’s Chevrolet brand has put the entire automotive industry on notice with its eighth-generation Corvette, the first to feature a mid-engine format. With exotic car looks with a not-so-exotic price tag, GM gave a tip of the hat to enthusiasts everywhere.
Additionally, the company has an eye on the future with its electric-powered Hummer, offered as both a pickup truck and an SUV. Given that there’s so much attention on electric vehicles lately, GM will provide much-needed competition in the space, making it one of the auto stocks to buy at bargain prices.
One of the most powerful names among auto stocks, Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) essentially covers the entire spectrum, ranging from its namesake affordable cars to premium luxury brands like Audi to even exotic icons like Lamborghini. Yes, that Lambo you’ve been lusting after with your cryptocurrency winnings is owned by a soccer mom favorite.
In all seriousness, though, Volkswagen should attract serious attention among those focused on discounted auto stocks to buy now. With the Wall Street Journal reporting that Americans are holding onto their cars for the longest period on record, this dynamic subtlety confirms that when these vehicles eventually fail, it may be best economically to replace them rather than repair them.
Here, Volkswagen’s reputation for reasonably priced vehicles should help the company. As well, VWAGY stock has responded positively to market forces since 2010, generally charting a steadily upward trajectory. Thus, it’s possible it could overcome current unique headwinds.
The most iconic name among auto stocks to buy, Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) is both an industry operator and an elitist culture. You don’t choose a Ferrari, Ferrari chooses you. That’s no joke. Ferrari strictly controls who can own its vehicles, which is one of the wildest things I’ve ever heard of.
However, this exclusivity is also what makes RACE stock appealing. In a way, Ferrari is the equity market’s equivalent of fine art investing. Much of the traditional rules of investing — such as liquidity considerations and fungibility — are thrown out. Regarding the present troubled juncture, Ferrari caters to an elite consumer base shielded from inflation and other challenges affecting the “peasants.”
To be clear, RACE isn’t a feel-good narrative and it’s not without risks, having declined 22% year-to-date through the May 27 session. Still, it’s a unique proposition.
Lucid Group (LCID)
What’s missing on this list of discounted auto stocks to buy now is an overt push of EV companies. That’s by design. As author and activist Robert Bryce pointed out for RealClear Energy, EVs carry significant hype that’s difficult to justify. One of these factors is the cost consideration. Bluntly speaking, the asking price of most EVs require households to be relatively wealthy.
As well, smart consumers are incentivized to wait. With EV battery technology and economies of scale improving, electric-powered rides should be cheaper later. While such factors may impede “regular” car companies, that won’t be the case for Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID). It’s going after affluent consumers first, with possible plans to address the middle-income bracket should it be viable.
For now, the evidence indicates that average-income households have at least a few years to wait. Presently, the average transaction price for a new EV is $60,000, which is absolutely staggering. Most folks can’t afford that, though Lucid buyers can, making LCID one of the auto stocks to buy on discount.
With the last two ideas for auto stocks to buy, we’re going to explore the riskiest end of the spectrum. Therefore, you can ignore what I have to say from here on out if you don’t want to deal with the very real possibility of extreme volatility. But if you have an iron gut, you might want to put CarMax (NYSE:KMX) on your watch list.
Having dropped 24% YTD, KMX isn’t exactly a confidence booster. Honestly, none of the above names are. However, with vehicle miles traveled having normalized, this metric implies that society is gradually returning to normal. That may mean that over the next several months, even the white-collar workers will have to make their way back to the office.
Another factor that potentially makes KMX one of the contrarian auto stocks to buy is the age of vehicles on U.S. roads. As mentioned earlier, consumers don’t have total control of when their vehicles finally give out. By then, it may be best for replacement. In that case, CarMax’s optional warranty coverage provides much-needed peace of mind.
Goodyear Tire (GT)
Let me be upfront: I completely understand that Goodyear Tire (NASDAQ:GT) is not a direct play among auto stocks to buy. Further, it’s one of the riskiest ideas out there, not just in the broader automotive sector. Over the trailing five years, GT has hemorrhaged over 61% of market value, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, reports suggested that more than half of Americans were driving on bald tires. Not only is it dangerous, it’s illegal. However, people suffering from hard times often push their luck. And it’s not like law enforcement officers are out monitoring which cars have less-than-acceptable tread on their tires.
Still, it’s not entirely impossible to assume that GT can’t make a comeback. While driving on compromised tires may be possible in the short term, over the long run, it can put drivers in incredibly risky situations. Therefore, GT could cynically bounce back, though you should be careful with this one.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.