Daimler CEO says view of Europe has dimmed

GENEVA Tue Mar 5, 2013 5:13am EST

Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche gestures during the presentation of the new cars during the first media day of the 83rd Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2013. EUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - RTR3EL5E

Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche gestures during the presentation of the new cars during the first media day of the 83rd Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2013. EUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - RTR3EL5E

GENEVA (Reuters) - The chief executive of Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said European car markets were in worse shape than they would have seemed late last year.

"The European market is not in a condition we expected three months ago," Dieter Zetsche, CEO of the German luxury carmaker, told journalists at the Geneva car show.

Still, an upturn in the second half was more likely than a further deterioration in the region.

"We continue to see it as the more likely scenario that we will see an improvement in the second half," Zetsche said.

Encouraging signs could be read from economic confidence indicators in Germany rather than the from the car market directly, he added.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Writing by Ludwig Burger)