Continental anticipates OEMs business growth to slow next year because rising Asian and North American sales are only offsetting a difficult European business, Financial Times Deutschland quoted CEO Elmar Degenhart as saying.

Degenhart expects the company to post sales growth of more than 7% in 2012 to over EUR32.5bn (US$42.3bn), reported Reuters which noted Continental was supporting some of its suppliers who were facing difficulties.

“Europe will stagnate at its current relatively low level. The trough should have been reached more or less. Maybe there will still be a decline of 1 to 2 percentage points,” Financial Times Deutschland cited Degenhart as saying.

For the January-September period, western Europe’s car market contracted by 7.6%. September saw the European new car market declining at the fastest rate in the past 12 months which led to almost all major carmakers posting double-figure declines for the month.