Blog: Dave LeggettSome cheer for Turin

Dave Leggett | 22 October 2003

The Automotive News Europe/PwC total shareholder return index for companies headquartered in Europe in Q3 has just been published. And who tops the vehicle makers' category? None other than somewhat troubled Fiat. Well, Fiat still comes out bottom on an annual basis (and really thumps the competition for the wooden spoon over three years with a whopping -70.5% shareholder value loss), but it was top in the third quarter reflecting improved sentiment surrounding the company's immediate prospects. Factors underlying the improvement included the impact of new models, lower losses and a positive mood arising from management changes. Fiat shares returned 15% in Q3 (-25.6% over a full year though). Something to at least give Mr Demel and colleagues a much needed lift. Every recovery starts somewhere.

And bottom of the shareholder value list in the third quarter? This may surprise some of you, but the CEO has been warning that the Group's 2003 financial targets will be difficult to meet (stressing that they are targets not forecasts). Yes it's that former darling of the markets, PSA (-13.7% Q3, but still 2.7% full year). That said, PSA wins over the three year period with a hefty 20.5% increase to shareholder value.

Market sentiment can be a cruel and fickle mistress of course, as some of those figures illustrate. If Fiat Auto hits problems later this year, the Fiat share price will dive. The new models need to be doing well in the new regs figures - fourth quarter this year is important. Any backpedalling on the management's commitment to achieving operating break-even in 2004 would cause confidence to rapidly dissipate.


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....


China Hot Pot

Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...

Forgot your password?