BMW says European markets to remain shaky for at least 5 yrs

GENEVA, March 5 Tue Mar 5, 2013 3:40am EST

GENEVA, March 5 (Reuters) - German premium carmaker BMW is bracing for car markets in Europe to remain volatile for at least another five years amid uncertainty over government debt in the region, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

"We believe that the underlying problem in Europe, which is mainly about debt, will persist for at least five more years," CEO Norbert Reithofer said at the Geneva car show.

He added that the company would take a close look at Russia as a possible production site and would decide on the matter in the next few months.

He also said German carmakers would coordinate on Wednesday on how to proceed in the controversy over coolants in vehicle air-conditioning. (Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Andreas Cremer; Writing by Ludwig Burger)