The signs of recovery seen in the final quarter of last year gathered momentum in the first three months of 2012. All sectors in the latest Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services Shareholder Value Index recorded strong gains.
Manufacturers gained 27.3 percent, compared with a 3.7 percent increase in the preceding quarter. Parts suppliers improved 31.1 percent while retailers achieved a 35.2 percent increase in value compared with a 1.5 percent decline in their value to shareholders in the final quarter of 2011.
These gains were significantly ahead of those in many leading European stock markets. The German DAX 30 index was up 17.8 percent while the French CAC 40 rose 8.6 percent in Q1 this year. The UK's FTSE 100 showed a 4.6 percent gain.
“Shareholder returns appear to have benefited from a re-rating of the sector, with the outlook for the euro and the growth profile in emerging markets being key drivers,” said Jason Wakelam, leader of PwC UK's Automotive Transaction Services. “While encouraging, there is a risk that a double-dip recession in Europe could dampen demand.”