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Car maker General Motors (GM ) recently had a series of advertisements in which consumers were surprised to see that a vehicle was actually one of their Buick branded-cars. That ad series, designed to showcase the newfound hipness of the brand, could be indicative of the entire auto industry: automobiles are not the sedans of your grandfather’s day.

Automation, internet connections and hybrid vehicle powertrains are now the standard in many cars. And this focus on high-tech rather than commoditized products is driving some pretty big cash flows and gains at many of the auto stocks.

For investors, the sector could be one of the biggest sleepers when it comes to finding growth and dividend potential. It’s time investors gave the auto stocks a serious look with a different lens.

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