VALENCIENNES, France -- The chairman of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Tuesday he expected demand for cars in Western Europe to be at the lower end of an earlier forecast due to the war in Iraq.
Folz said earlier this year that he expected the European car market to dip between 0 percent and 2 percent this year.
"I predicted between 0 and 2 percent barring any international upheaval. The upheaval has happened, and without a doubt there will be repercussions for the western economy. We will be in the bottom end of my forecasts," Folz said.
Folz said the chance the European car market could plunge 10 percent to 15 percent, his worst-case scenario, was higher now than at the start of the year, but it still remained unlikely. Folz also confirmed targets of 3.35 million unit sales this year and an operating margin of 5 percent to 5.2 percent.
Last week, Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn said the war in Iraq meant demand for cars in the United States and Europe in the fiscal year 2003-2004 risked being lower than the firm had previously thought.
Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, said last week the war in Iraq had so far had no noticeable effect on the global auto industry.