FRANKFURT Nov 18 Germany's Lanxess,
the world's largest maker of synthetic rubber, believes that the
European automotive market has bottomed out, chief executive
Axel Heitmann was quoted as saying in an interview published on
"The current historically low registration figures will be
history soon. We believe that the trough has been reached,"
Heitmann told Handelsblatt Online in an interview published on
Lanxess last week posted a drop of more than a quarter in
adjusted core earnings, hurt by lower prices for synthetic
rubber for tyres and weak currencies in some of its export
But car sales in France, Spain and Germany picked up in
October driven by a surge in demand for compact vehicles,
signalling a cautious rebound as the euro zone economy recovers
Heitmann told Handelsblatt Online that Lanxess was still
posting robust earnings in its businesses that were not related
to the car industry.
"But they cannot make up for what is happening in rubber
markets right now," he said, adding that prices for products
used to make car tyres had dropped by as much as 20 percent.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Patrick Graham)