Hooniverse Asks- Have you ever Bought Part of a Car… Company?


In case you haven’t noticed, Tesla Motors is on kind of a roll. Just within the past month they have repaid their government loan early; have announced that their Model S is presently outselling all the other hundred-grand luxury cars; and have French Castled the New York Times in true Monty Python fashion. It’s a good day to be Elon Musk, even if you have to be named Elon Musk.

All this good corporate news has combined to drive the value of Tesla stock to over a Benjamin each, making the company the darling of NASDAQ. That of course is currently just about the only automotive stock worth not crying in your bowl of ticker tape-os over, but as everyone knows, the stock market is a long-run game.

Perhaps you were fortuitous enough to get in on the ground floor with Tesla, and are now seeing your investments grow. Or maybe your family has had GM stock for so long that even major downturns like the past 8 year stretch warrants only a slightly raised eyebrow in response. Of course you could be like me, and own no auto stock whatsoever, having instead decided to invest your hard-earned income in Friday night Hot and Readys from Little Caesars. But let’s say you’re more fiscally responsible than your humble host here, and do own some auto stock. If so, who do you own, and how much?

Image sources: Alfa-Portal, Autoweek


  1. All Americans own some automotive stock, but aside from my unwilling stake in GM, I probably don’t own any automotive stock. I say probably, because I don’t really play in the deep end of the stock market, and don’t know specifically what stocks are owned by the funds that comprise my IRA or my 401k. There is a miniscule possibility that among said stocks, there is or has been, some stake in a car company.
    I plan to manage my IRA more directly in the near future. I’m no longer contributing to it, so I might as well play with it, right? There isn’t enough money in it to make a huge difference in my retirement, but there is enough to have some investing fun with.
    Years ago, when Ford was trading at around $7, I convinced some relatives to buy some stock. My grandma got nervous as it continued to fall, and sold her shares at a loss. My father, on the other hand, bought a thousand shares right near the bottom, when it was trading at about $2/share. It hasn’t made him wealthy, but it has been a pretty good return.
    I keep watch over Ford stock, but I’m not buying at nearly $16/share. If they have a highly publicized recall that causes a big drop, I might buy in before it rebounds, though.

  2. As I'm invested in mutual funds in my 401K, IRA and direct purchases, I'm probably part owner an auto manufacturing company.
    I've not bought auto shares directly as I don't watch the market close enough, but am kicking myself for not getting in on Ford when it was $3/share.
    related: I laughed at my financial adviser when he recommended I buy into Facebook's IPO.

  3. If I do it is buried in a mutual fund, buried in the small 401k fund that I have. So yes, probably. I guess I really should read those prospectus things I get in the mail.
    This made me want to go look. The only ones that popped up were Toyota and Honda. But I don't think I own enough to own a whole share.

  4. I bought Ford stock when it was just over $1 a share. I sold it a while later at around $5 a share. Since then I haven't invested directly in any auto company.
    On another note, if your family owned GM stock they don't own it any more unless they bought into the latest IPO or subsequent public offerings. Old GM stock went unlisted and became worthless as part of bankruptcy and restructuring.

  5. Part? I own all of Tanshanomi Motors.
    However, production-ready vehicles are not quite through the pipeline yet, so our assets are not easily monetized. Or existent.

  6. I own a significant fraction of the liquidated assets of Les Equipements Electriques KV, but I don't know that I'd characterize this as fiscally responsible.

  7. My mother was given some GM stock in the 60s but sold it in the late 70s to pay for grad school, when it still worth something. Going even more old school, I had Southern Pacific railroad stock, but that also ended up paying for tuition.

    1. About the only thing I have ever invested in and made money was guns and ammo. I think my 401k MIGHT be showing some long term return…for now.

  8. During the credit crunch, I still was a student. The little money I had wanted to be invested in Ford and banks. Banks because it was the most anticyclical decision I could imagine, but I didn't have the balls. Ford because I considered it the only American car company with somewhat desirable products, but I was afraid of a bailout and chickened out here, too. Instead, I took a safe bet, as the tiny Norwegian valuta NOK plummeted against the big and supposedly safe €uro. That made me 20% over the course of some months, plus 8% in a saving account for a year. A proper investment banker wouldn't even lift his golden pen for that, but it still was my most glorious financial moment. Apart from when I sold that bloody Citroën for a 25% markup within two weeks, but that's another story.
    Short answer is: No.

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