U.S. dealership groups turned in their second straight negative quarter, down 7.7 percent after a 4.7 percent drop in the first quarter.
They also lost their No. 1 standing when compared with parts suppliers and global automakers in one-year and three-year returns. The retailers' shareholder value was up 1.2 percent for the 12 months ended June 30 and up 39.0 percent for the three years.
UnitedAuto Group Inc. posted the best quarterly and three-year returns, up 12.4 percent for the quarter and 77.0 percent for three years.
Lithia Motors Inc. gave shareholders the best 12-month value, up 55.1 percent.
"Through strategic acquisitions, advertising campaigns and increased same-store sales, Lithia continues to grow," Pricewaterhouse Coopers says in its analysis of the rankings.
Used-car retailer CarMax Inc. had the worst quarterly and one-year returns, down 25.1 percent for the quarter and 27.5 percent for the year. In the company's first fiscal quarter, which ended May 31, the company lowered its quarterly earnings estimate.
Sales volatility, higher gasoline prices and rising interest rates contributed to CarMax's downturn in stock price, say PricewaterhouseCoopers analysts. CarMax CEO Austin Ligon expects sales to be volatile through August.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the outlook for new-vehicle sales is better than for used-vehicle sales.
"Somewhat stronger economic conditions and a host of new-model introductions could have a favorable impact on new-vehicle sales and returns," PricewaterhouseCoopers says in its analysis of the rankings.
"Revenues from used vehicles are likely to remain weak as new-vehicle affordability, driven by the vehicle manufacturers' heavy usage of incentives, is at a 25-year best."