Strong light-truck sales and a big U.S. market share were not the defining characteristics of automakers with the best stock performance last year, according to the Automotive News/PricewaterhouseCoopers Total Shareholder Return Index.
In 2004, PSA Group of France, producer of Peugeots and Citroens, delivered the world's best stock performance: a 30.0 percent increase in value.
Another French automaker, Renault, had the best return for the past three years: 164.7 percent. Neither company sells vehicles in the United States.
Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. topped the field during the fourth quarter of 2004. Neither automaker sells a pickup in the United States.