Continental expects worldwide demand for passenger car tyres to rise to nearly 1.25bn units next year from 1.2bn forecast this year, its passenger tyre division has said.

For 2011, the company is forecasting demand at more than 1.3 bn units, Nikolai Setzer told Auto Motor und Sport, Reuters reported.

Pirelli Germany chief Guglielmo Fiocchi, on the other hand, told the magazine he forecast a 7 to 10% decline in global demand this year.

"For 2010, the bottom would be reached, after which growth would then return," he said, adding the company forecast subsequent growth of up to 6% annually.

Fiocchni reportedly expects the entire sector in Germany to see a decline of 7 to 8% in summer trade this year, with a "better development" expected for coming winter tyre sales.