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Stock Strategist

Auto Industry Shifts Gears

Investors who look beyond recalls will see an industry focused on new technologies.

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If you long for the days when you could get a sense of the automotive industry merely by visiting Detroit, you're not alone. Getting a handle on the sector now involves a thorough understanding of what's happening in Washington, D.C., China, Germany, Japan, a host of other foreign countries and companies, and, now, even Silicon Valley.

The automotive industry has never been more complex and never more fascinating. I recently talked with Morningstar analysts Dave Whiston (senior equity analyst covering U.S. and Japanese automakers, suppliers, and dealers), Richard Hilgert (equity analyst covering automakers and automotive parts suppliers), and Rick Tauber (director of corporate bond research) to find out what we should know about automakers, their suppliers, their regulators, and the developing technologies that are likely to end up wildly changing the ways we get around. Our discussion has been edited for clarity and length.

Basili Alukos does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.