Continental’s finance chief Wolfgang Schaefer expects car production in Europe to improve slightly in the second half of the year after falling 6% in the first half.

Schaefer made his comments to Reuters as both France and Spain reported improving new car sales in July. In France, light vehicle sales, including vans, were up 1.2%, the first increase since October 2011 while Spain’s sales grew 14.8% in the month.

"We found the bottom in Europe," Schaefer said, predicting full-year output in the region to decline 4%.