Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said European car markets were in worse shape than they would have seemed late last year.

“The European market is not in a condition we expected three months ago,” he told Reuters at the Geneva show.

An upturn in the second half was more likely than a further deterioration in the region.

“We continue to see it as the more likely scenario that we will see an improvement in the second half,” Zetsche said.

Encouraging signs could be read from economic confidence indicators in Germany rather than the from the car market directly, he added.