Auto Execs Comment On Future


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Frankfurt Motor Show September 15, 2009; Reuters compiled comments made by executives from the global automotive industry at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week on the economy and the industry outlook.

Martin Winterkorn, Chief Executive, Volkswagen

"The difficult crisis in the automotive industry is not over yet, but there are increasing signs that the bottom has been reached."

"The industry can be cautiously optimistic."

Lorenzo Sistino, CEO, Fiat Brand

"The (European) market next year is totally unpredictable. I think probably that in France the market will remain more or less at the same level."

Michael Macht, CEO, Porsche AG

"Indications have been increasing that we may have passed the economic trough. Even if the coming months will likely remain difficult, we at Porsche are cautiously optimistic for the calendar year 2010.

Tadadhi Arashima, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Europe

"I feel consumer confidence is not so strong yet."

On winding down the incentives: "I hope some kind of soft landing approach will be taken."

Bernhard Mattes, Head Ford of Germany

"I do not expect that we will return to conditions like in 2007 or early 2008 in the short term. That means we will see a slow recovery in 2010, 2011 and then have better and more stable market conditions in 2013, 2014."

"I am skeptical that things will go as high as 2007 again."

Allan Rushforth, Vice President, Hyundai Motor Europe

"It won't be until 2015 that the market picks up significantly and we'll be seeing 2007 levels in Europe again."

Jean-Marc Gales, Head of Peugeot and Citroen Brands at PSA Peugeot Citroen

"The German market will fall (next year) but the fall will be offset slightly by the light commercial vehicle and fleet sales markets which will pick up. Next year with the gradual economic recovery certain large fleets will be renewed. We'll also see the light commercial vehicle market start to grow in some markets like Germany and Italy."

"I am expecting a recovery in the Russian market -- it's just that I don't know if it will be in two months, five months, 10 months, but it will come back."

Michael Rollier, CEO Michelin

"What we're seeing today is a slight upturn (in passenger markets) -- but we're still very far from 2007 levels."

"(In the truck segment) we're not seeing much recovery."

"If Chinese growth continues we're going to have an increase in raw material prices -- we have to be prepared."

Luca Cordero Di Motezmolo, Chairman, Ferrari

"I think next year we'll be on about the same level, in terms of vehicles (sold), as this year."

Alberto Bombassei, Chairman, Brembo

"We have some signs of recovery from the German market which makes us more optimistic than the last few months which were really negative."

"If the trend is like the last few months, the July-September, October period, 2010 will be a year of recovery."

"But to return to levels seen in 2007, 2008 needs a bit of time. Let's hope months not years."

Editing for Reuters by Jon Loades-Carter

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