Auto News: Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA), General Motors Company (GM), Toyota Motor Corporation (TM)

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), American Axle & Manufact. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AXL), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC)

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)Did Tesla Just Change the Auto Industry as We Know It? (NationalReview)
Quite possibly, yes. But not with its electric car. A New York judge has just ruled in favor of Tesla allowing direct-to-consumer sales of its cars, bypassing a dealer network: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) says it’s won another round in its fight with established car dealers who want to stop the company from selling its electric luxury cars directly to consumers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says, via Twitter, that a New York judge has tossed out a suit brought by New York auto dealers who challenged Tesla’s direct sales model as a violation of the state’s franchise laws.

Why Tesla Motors Will Have the Last Laugh (Fool)
Pundits ridiculed Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) last week after its “$500 a month” new-car loan program turned out to be based on some dubious assumptions. But Tesla might end up having the last laugh after all. In this video, Fool analyst John Rosevear explains what the real goal of Tesla’s new financing offer might be — and why it’s a great long-range move for the upstart carmaker. Is it time to buy Tesla now? Near-faultless execution has led Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to the brink of success, but the road ahead remains a hard one. Despite progress, a looming question remains: Will Tesla be able to fend off its big-name competitors?

GM, Ford Team Up to Develop New Transmissions (WSJ)
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) -0.34% and Ford Motor Co. F -0.15% have teamed up to produce two new transmissions as the auto makers look to keep in step with their rivals both foreign and closer to home. The two biggest U.S. auto makers have agreed to jointly develop a nine-speed and a 10-speed automatic transmission for use in their portfolios of cars, crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The transmissions—to be built for both front- and rear-wheel drive—are expected to improve vehicle performance and increase fuel economy. Specific details weren’t released on fuel economy improvement or investment by each auto maker.

Ford To Recruit at ESD’s Engineering Job Fair (CBSLocal)
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is the latest to join a growing list of engineering and technical-related companies that will take part in The Engineering Society of Detroit Engineering and Technology Job Fair on Monday, April 22 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. As of Friday the job fair has 50 companies and more than 1,800 job openings. Companies joining Ford include American Axle & Manufact. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AXL), Mitsubishi, DTE Energy, Guardian Industries, Magna Electronics, Sparrow Health Systems, U.S. Manufacturing, and many others. The 2012 Fall ESD Job Fair attracted more than 65 companies and 4,500-plus job openings. Exhibit space is still available for those looking to hire for full, part-time or co-op positions and in various fields, including architecture, cyber-security, biotech, biofuels, transportation, and various forms of engineering, including chemical, civil, computer, design, electrical, environmental, aerospace, manufacturing, mechanical and more.

GM CEO Dan Akerson won’t fade away (USAToday)
Call him the incredible appearing Dan Akerson. The General Motors chairman and CEO has emerged from a prolonged quiet period — making more public appearances so far this year than in all of 2012. It’s part of a strategy to reintroduce Akerson to the public so he can tell the company’s story free of the election-year mudslinging that often focused on the federal government’s role in bailing out the auto giant. His 2013 schedule has included eight major public appearances and counting, one of which was a 60-minute spot a week ago guest-hosting CNBC’s Squawk Box.

General Motors Given New $38.00 Price Target at Citigroup (GM) (Utahpeoplespost)
Equities researchers at Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) boosted their target price on shares of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) from $35.00 to $38.00 in a report issued on Monday, The reports. The firm currently has a “buy” rating on the stock. Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) opened at 29.62 on Monday. General Motors has a one year low of $18.72 and a one year high of $30.68. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $27.93. The company has a market cap of $40.474 billion and a P/E ratio of 10.15.

Opel keen on Russia but but not China (Just-Auto)
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’ Opel brand will push growth in Russia as part of an export drive to offset slumping business in Europe but steer clear of China, according to German reports. “For Opel, Russia is of great importance,” GM chief executive Dan Akerson told German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag, according to Reuters. “In a few years time, the Russian market could become bigger than the German one.” Opel will continue its export campaign after entering Australia, Chile and Singapore last year and the Arab emirates in 2013, CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann told the newspaper.