In an age of auto industry consolidation, tiny, independent Porsche does more for shareholders than any of its giant rivals.
The German sports car maker remains the clear leader among European manufacturers, according to the Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Total Shareholder Return Index.
Meanwhile, huge, multi-brand DaimlerChrysler continues to disappoint investors since the 1998 merger.
The good news got even better for Porsche shareholders in the third quarter. Investors' holdings increased in value by 43.9 percent. That was far better than the overall index for European carmakers.
Porsche returned 75.2 percent in the 12-month period ending on September 30 and 223.4 percent over the past three years.
No other European carmaker comes close to that record. Porsche's performance reflects revenue growth of 12.9 percent in the 12 months to July, largely due to strong demand for the Boxster 'S' and 911 Turbo models, which generate higher profit margins.
Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler has seen its shareholder value collapse since the 1998 merger. D/C shareholders saw the value of their holdings decline 7.9 percent in the quarter and they are down 19 percent over the past 12 months.
Stung by criticism of its investor relations and its poor share price, Volkswagen took action. VW announced plans to buy back as much as 10 percent of its shares, which helped shareholder return in the quarter grow by 30.3 percent.
The third-quarter gain moved VW into positive territory for the year that ended September 30. But over the past three years VW investors have seen an 11.7 percent drop in the value of their holdings.