By Andrew Gordon
Auto companies are in horrible shape. Will GM survive? Has Toyota seen its best days? Is Ford's funk temporary or permanent?
You should stay away from them. But why not invest in the next big technology the auto companies will need? All of them have plans to introduce or step up the production of battery-driven cars beginning around 2011-12.
The batteries being used today won't be the batteries that will be used in a few years. Nickel-cadmium batteries are on the way out. On the way in are lithium-ion batteries, with twice the capacity and half the weight. Plus, they work fine in hot or cold weather.
This market is flying under the radar. From $9 billion today, it could reach $150 billion in the next 10 years.
There are about 30 car manufacturers around the world dying to get their hands on this new technology. And those companies that have already begun production have the best chance of becoming big players in this market.