The momentum of recovery faltered again in the first quarter of 2011 for all three automotive stock groups followed by the Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services Shareholder Value Index.
Following three consecutive quarters of strong growth, including an 18 percent rise in Q3 and Q4 of last year, automakers fell by 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Retailers, already back to zero growth in Q4 last year, had their shareholder value decline 3.4 percent in the first three months this year.
Partsmakers returned positive growth in Q1, but the 3.2 percent increased in shareholder value was well below the 11 percent achieved in Q4 last year and the 23 percent seen in Q3.
The performances of the three auto groups were much in line with relatively lackluster results from leading share indices over the same period. The Dow Jones Industrial was up just 0.5 percent in Q1, the German DAX 30 up 1.8 and the UK's FTSE 100 down 1.9 percent.
"The auto industry is facing up to a further period of uncertainty as consumer spending falters, with the knock-on effect of the Japanese earthquake also impacting sentiment in the first quarter of 2011," said Jason Wakelam, leader of PwC UK's Automotive Transaction Services.