Europe, Japan take a hit, too

Total shareholder return for largest global automakers; percentage change per period
  Name Q3 2001 Past 12 months Past 36 months
1 Fiat -12.3 -24.5 -29
2 BMW -23 -24.8 5.5
3 Volkswagen -25.7 -22.6 -49.9
4 Honda -26.1 -10.7 7.6
5 Toyota -27.1 -36.2 16.1
6 Ford -28.5 -28.5 -24.6
TSR Index -29.3 -29.7 -18.3
7 General Motors -32.8 -32.1 2.9
8 DaimlerChrysler -35.6 -30.7
9 Renault -35.6 -30.5 -22.5
10 Nissan -39.8 -24 49.8

Shareholder returns for European and Japanese automakers suffered the least during the third quarter.

Between the start of the quarter on July 1 through Sept. 10, the group's average shareholder value slumped 13.9 percent as lower consumer confidence and higher unemployment slowed auto sales. The Sept. 11 attacks sent automaker stocks even lower, driving the final quarterly loss to 29.3 percent. Import and transplant automakers continued to gain share at the expense of the Big 3, even in the U.S. manufacturers' bread-and-butter truck market.

Combined U.S. sales for General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler dropped 9 percent during the first three quarters of 2001, compared with 2000. Values for even the European makers fell with lower overall demand in North America and Europe. Restructuring actions during the quarter - Ford's planned 5,000 job cuts, for instance - drove down stock values for some companies.

Though 0 percent financing may have kick-started sales, the tactic poses concern for long-term shareholder value.

"How long will they have to maintain that kind of marketing effort to keep their sales propped up?" asked Jay Singer, PricewaterhouseCoopers director. "As that starts to play out, that could be a more significant part of this quarter."

For the third quarter, Fiat, helped by leaps in first-half profit, fared better than all other automakers. Fiat's decline was only 12.3 percent. Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler outpaced only Renault and Nissan. Honda topped the group for the one-year period with a decline of 10.7 percent, while Nissan posted the best three-year return with a 49.8 percent gain. The one-year period averaged a decline of 29.7 percent; the three-year period averaged an 18.3 percent drop, far behind the market benchmarks.

You can reach Amy Wilson at

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