Retailer Lithia Motors and supplier Plastic Omnium returned the most value to shareholders in their categories last year and over the past three years, according to the Automotive News/PwC Shareholder Value Index.
Daimler AG took the award for best return among global automakers in the one-year period, and Volkswagen AG was tops over three years. The shareholder value leaders in the automaker, supplier and retailer sectors for 2013 were honored at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit this month.
The six publicly traded new-vehicle retailers and global suppliers outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones Industrials indexes in both the one- and three-year measurements. Global automakers fell short compared with the S&P and the Dow in both periods.
Technology and innovation have been key drivers for the top performers in all three automotive categories, said Jeff Zaleski, PwC partner for Automotive Transaction Services. "For automotive executives surveyed in PwC's global innovation survey, a third say improving products is their top innovation priority," Zaleski said. "About the same number plan to generate radical or breakthrough innovations in the near term."