Amid home-market turmoil, Europeans top shareholder value
DETROIT -- Two German automakers and two European suppliers have delivered the best shareholder return in the industry this year, despite troubling economic conditions in Europe.
For the past 12 months, Volkswagen AG provided the best shareholder value of any automaker, returning 64.5 percent to investors, according to the latest Automotive News/PwC Global Automotive Shareholder Value Index.
The results were made public Wednesday during the Automotive News World Congress.
German luxury maker BMW Group has provided the best shareholder return over the three-year period ending Dec. 31, 2012, according to the index, giving investors a 125.6 percent payback for the period.
"It's remarkable that these two German companies have done so well, considering the situation of the European economy in the past year," said Jeff Zaleski, U.S. automotive transaction services partner in PwC's automotive practice.
"They have excelled despite the turmoil."
'Powerful global player'
"Volkswagen has been a powerful global player, with particular success in expanding sales in China in recent years. They now have a very rich portfolio of popular cars on the streets around the world," Zaleski commented.
"BMW has really shown an outstanding performance in the U.S. market," he added. "They've pushed themselves to be a market leader in new technologies in powertrains and performance. Consumers are responding to that."
The index examines all components of shareholder value in a company, including share price, dividends paid out and stock splits.
French plastics supplier Plastic Omnium dominated the supplier industry for the same three-year period, the index found. Plastic Omnium delivered a 256.5 percent return for the period, compared to an average 43.3 percent for the rest of the global supplier industry.
Lithia leads retailers
German-based tire and electronics maker Continental AG led the segment for 2012, chalking up an 89.7 percent shareholder return over the 12-month period.
Lithia Motors Inc. created the highest shareholder value of any publicly traded auto retailer in the industry, both for the past 12 months and the past three years.
Lithia, which owns 87 stores in 11 states, gave investors a 74 percent increase in value for 2012, and a 377.1 percent increase for the past three years.
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