GENEVA (Reuters) -- Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne today confirmed the company's 2013 profit targets and said he saw no recovery in store for Europe's car markets this year.
"I don't see any glimmer of hope [for a European market recovery] this year," he told journalists at a press conference at the Geneva auto show.
"The first quarter will be rough," he added.
New-car sales in Europe's biggest car market Germany fell 10.5 percent to 200,683 in February, the KBA federal transport agency said on Monday. Germany followed other major European markets in reporting sales declines last month as austerity-hit consumers avoided big-ticket purchases.
Marchionne said he sees the Italian car market falling to below its 2012 level this year, when it returned to volumes not seen since the 1970s and added that political uncertainty in the country was not helping matters.
''The thing that worries me most is that the Italian market is going to be lower than the 1.4 million last year and the political uncertainty is prolonging the slow down.''
Overall, European car sales fell to a 17-year low in 2012, down 7.8 percent to 12.5 million from the year before.