July 16, 2013 / 6:01 AM / 5 years ago

BMW sees western Europe staying tough well into next year-paper

FRANKFURT, July 16 (Reuters) - Germany’s BMW does not expect the western European car market to pick up before the middle of next year, Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer told a German newspaper.

“The situation in the western European market is still difficult,” he was quoted as saying by Boersen-Zeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.

He said he expected the western European market to shrink by about 5 percent this year.

“Little will change until the middle of next year. Perhaps we will see a slight pickup in western Europe in the second half of 2014.”

BMW in May said it expected to increase group sales next year, after posting a 4.1 percent drop in first-quarter revenue to 17.6 billion euros ($23 billion).

Reithofer said that while competition was fierce, the company was trying to avoid discounts whenever possible and keep its market share stable at the same time.

He also confirmed the company’s target of surpassing the 2 million vehicle mark in 2016.

$1 = 0.7664 euros Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Potter

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