Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn expects 2010 to be no easier than this year as the crisis in the worldwide auto industry continues.

Ghosn, who is also CEO of Renault’s Japanese alliance partner Nissan Motor, told Europe 1 radio that he expected Europe to be among the last regions worldwide to return to growth, along with Japan.

He added that the US and major emerging regions would start to pick up in the first quarter of 2010 with Europe and Japan returning to growth only in the first quarter of 2011.

Ghosn said the Renault group sold around 180,000 new cars in June with its global market share remaining stable in the first half.

He said: “I’m expecting 2010 to be as difficult as 2009. I am not expecting an immediate recovery.”

He predicted that the end of scrappage schemes in European markets could cause problems and called for a gradual transition rather than a sudden end to such schemes.