Suppliers advance too
It was a similar story for suppliers. In Q3 just one company had managed to remain in positive territory. But in Q4, 14 of the 19 companies tracked by ANE and PwC returned to growth and nearly half of the 19 managed double-digit percentage gains. The star performer was Montupet, up 29.3 percent. The French aluminum casting specialist also had pole position in the first quarter of 2014. This time, however, Montupet's share price rose on the back of reports that it is exploring a possible trade sale that could value the company at about 700 million euros. Montupet was followed by German gasket and plastics maker ElringKlinger, up 22.2 percent, French exhaust, seating and interiors maker Faurecia, up 22.1 percent, and safety systems specialist Autoliv, up 21.2 percent.
The two weakest performances came from filtration and suspension systems producer Sogefi and the Norwegian driver controls and cable maker Kongsberg. Down 28.1 percent in Q4 and 27.5 percent in Q3, Sogefi took bottom position in both quarters. Kongsberg, on the other hand, had taken third place in Q3, limiting the decline in its shareholder value to 5.6 percent, before relinquishing 22.7 percent in the most recent period.