Agence France-Presse reports that Helmut Panke, chairman of BMW, told the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung he expects the European car market to contract by one or two percent next year.

"We'll probably have to prepare ourselves for a contraction of one to two percent in the European and German markets," Panke told the daily.

"The US market will remain stable, while the market of the future will be Asia."

The BMW chief also criticised the tax changes proposed by the German government as a way of curbing the public deficit.

Among the measures proposed, Berlin wants to tax company cars, a move Panke said could lead to the loss of up to 10,000 jobs in the sector as a whole and cut BMW's sales by three percent.

The measures being proposed by the government would cost BMW around 120 million euros a year, Panke warned, according to AFP.

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