Reuters reports that shares in Volkswagen fell on Wednesday after a media report highlighted the problems the company faces in the United States next year. Traders cited a broadcast interview with Bloomberg News in which VW Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder said he expected the company's US sales to fall "significantly" next year.

The Reuters report said that he cited ageing models, the strength of the euro against the dollar and discounts offered by competitors. Pischetsieder also said that he saw no prospect of dollar recovery against the euro in 2004.

"With the product changeover and the incentive battle, it's clear sales will fall significantly in the U.S. next year," Pischetsrieder was reported as saying.

"We won't make any more profit there next year than this year," he added.

The Reuters report added that VW expects its profits to more than halve this year as weak demand, a strong euro and problems in Brazil take their toll and the company has said it will be 2005 before business is back to normal.