The value of Europe's publicly-traded suppliers plunged in the third quarter.
Components makers did worse than Europe's major stock indices and trailed both the vehicle manufacturer and car retail sectors.
Analysts blame rising raw material costs, falling car prices, and the weakening heavy-truck market.
Returns for 29 publicly-traded suppliers in the Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Total Shareholder Return Index declined by 8.1 percent. The index measures European suppliers with annual sales of over E100 million.
Only 12 suppliers posted a positive payback in the period.
'If this is indicative of a long-term trend then suppliers will be starved of the cash needed to implement their strategic ambitions,' said Steve Utting, head of PricewaterhouseCooper's automotive corporate finance practice in Europe. 'There seems little evidence at present that margin pressures are going to ease for this group as raw material costs and pressures to reduce car prices squeeze them from both ends.'
Among major suppliers which slumped in the quarter were engine parts maker Kolbenschmidt-Pierburg (- 8.4 percent), Valeo (-8.8 percent), Autoliv (-12.2 percent) and GKN (-14.4 percent)
Also faltering was Mayflower, the UK supplier of stampings and sub-assemblies and until recently a strong performer in the shareholder value survey. Mayflower's return declined 36 percent in the quarter. The plunge is largely attributable to the downturn in the US heavy-truck market.
Third-quarter declines for two of Europe's best-performing supplier stocks in the past three years - Veritas and Montupet - also contributed to the overall drop in the sector.
Veritas, a small German maker of rubber and plastics products, has the second best payback among suppliers in the past three years - returning 142.4 percent to investors. It was tops in the second quarter, rising 81.3 percent. But the company's value to shareholders declined 30.7 percent in the third quarter.
Montupet, a French supplier of aluminum castings for cylinder heads and wheels, has gained 141.3 percent over the past three years. But Montupet was down 13.3 percent in the quarter.
The big supplier winner in the third quarter was Sommer-Allibert, the French interiors specialist. Sommer-Allibert led the supplier index with a return of 49.2 per cent in third quarter. Its shares have risen by 85 percent since CEO Marc Assa, announced the possibility of an alliance at the company's May 25 shareholder meeting.