Four automakers posted positive shareholder returns in the third quarter, down from 11 companies in the second quarter.
None of the companies was a Big 3 automaker. General Motors dropped 7.7 percent. Ford Motor Co. was down 9.6 percent. DaimlerChrysler AG fell 12.2 percent. Each of the Big 3 underperformed the automaker index for the quarter and three-year period.
Hyundai Motor Co. turned around its shareholder value in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Up 17.4 percent, the company showed the best return among automakers. In the second quarter, it was the lowest-ranking automaker.
"Why the volatility from quarter to quarter? I can't put my finger on a particular driver," says David Hiemstra, manager of transaction services for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "But the Sonata launch did well in Korea in the third quarter, and that increases the expectations for the U.S. launch."
Porsche AG had the best return of the past 12 months, up 55.1 percent. Renault SA turned in the highest three-year value, up 212.5 percent.
Automakers continued to lag suppliers and retailers in the three-year period. Fiat posted the worst three-year and quarterly returns.
Volkswagen AG had the only negative return in the one-year period.
Looking ahead, plant overcapacity remains a big concern for automakers. PricewaterhouseCoopers' Autofacts group estimates that global automotive capacity utilization is 75 percent. It says 85 percent is needed to be profitable.
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