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By Brendan Gilmartin

The leading automakers are scheduled to report monthly sales on Thursday, January 3.

Summary: The leading automakers are scheduled to report December 2012 auto sales on Thursday, January 3. Overall, the major manufacturers are seen posting solid year over year comparisons, despite the uncertainty resulting from the fiscal cliff impasse toward the end of the year. According to TrueCar.com, sales for December 2012 are expected to rise 10.3% from the previous year, based on several factors, including manufacturing incentives and a pickup in demand in the Northeast stemming from Superstorm Sandy. Similarly, Edmunds.com is looking for a strong finish to 2012, thanks to solid advertising trends and attractive deals from most automakers. Finally, Kelley Blue Book suggested replacement demand in the Northeast carried over into the initial part of December and capped off a strong year for the industry.

Ford Motor (F) Expected Release Time: 9:30 a.m. EST

Overview: Ford (F) shares have been surging in recent weeks and are up more than 30% since early November. Ford is benefiting from strong truck sales, with the Focus ™ and Fiesta ™ models delivering solid results to-date. According to a recent release, Ford pointed out that in 2012 it was the only brand with 3 of the top 10 best-selling vehicles worldwide. The low-single digit expectations for December 2012 sales are the result of a tough y/y comparison.

Estimates

TrueCar.com: 2.6% (Source: Truecar.com)

Edmunds.com: 1.6% (Source: Edmunds.com)

Kelley Blue Book: 0.3%(Source: KBB.com)

Technical Review: Ford shares have rallied sharply in recent weeks, pushing the Relative Strength Index above 80 (the 70-level is considered overbought), implying the shares are vulnerable to even the slightest misstep. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

General Motors (GM) Expected Release Time: 10:00 a.m. EST

Overview: General Motors (GM) shares are trading at the highest level since July 2011 in response to a surge in sales over the past couple months, due partially to a pickup in the economy and replenishment after Superstorm Sandy. GM shares are also advancing after the U.S. Treasury Department revealed on December 19 it intended to exit its TARP investment in GM over the next 12-15 months.

Estimates

TrueCar.com: 0.9% (Source: Truecar.com)

Edmunds.com: 1.5% (Source: Edmunds.com)

Kelley Blue Book: 0.4%(Source: KBB.com)

Technical Review: GM shares recently spiked to a fresh 52-week high, but appears overbought near-term, with potential downside risk to the $26 area, followed by the 50-Day SMA near $25.50. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

Toyota Motor (TM) Expected Release Time: 10:30 a.m. EST

Overview: Toyota Motor (TM) shares have been tracking higher in recent months, benefiting from the improving sales backdrop in the U.S. The company also disclosed it was targeting global sales to increase 3% in 2013, with brand sales rising a more pronounced 22% and total production rising my an equal margin.

Technical Review: Toyota Motor shares are at a multi-year high (best level since July, 2008), following a solid finish to 2012 and a robust forecast headed into 2013. Despite the cent gains, the shares appear overbought from a technical perspective and could drop to as low as $86 on a weak sales report, given how thinly the U.S. listings are traded. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

Estimates

TrueCar.com: 5.7% (Source: Truecar.com)

Edmunds.com: 13.1% (Source: Edmunds.com)

Kelley Blue Book: 8.1%(Source: KBB.com)

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Source: Ford, GM And Toyota Surge To Multi-Year Highs Ahead Of December Sales Results