Volkswagen will have difficulty breaking even in North America next year if exchange rates remain at current levels, Volkswagen head Bernd Pischetsrieder reportedly told analysts.

According to Reuters, Pischetsrieder had earlier sounded a warning note on the outlook for its US business for this year, saying there is a “very high” risk that its loss in the United States will widen in the second half of this year, from almost half a billion euros in the first six months.

The news agency noted that Volkswagen posted operating profit for the first half of 2004 at €979 million, down 19.8%, while its North American business posted an operating loss of €503 million.