Continental tyres are predicting that the worldwide demand for passenger car tyres will grow next year.
The German tyres manufacturer also expects global demand to increase to nearly 1.25 billion units in 2010 from the 1.2 billion units it anticipates this year.
Nikolai Setzer, the head of the passenger tyre division of Continental, made the prediction in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport magazine.
He also forecast demand for 2011 to reach at least 1.3 billion units.
However, Gugielmo Fiocchi, head of German operations of rival tyres manufacturer Pirelli predicted a bleak immediate forecast for the industry in the immediate future.
The tyres industry has been hard hit by the effects of the global downturn on the auto industry and the Italian tyre manufacturer is anticipating a seven to 10 per cent decline in demand around the world for this year.
Mr Fiocchi said: “For 2010, the bottom would be reached, after which growth would then return,” he said, adding the company forecast subsequent growth of up to 6 percent annually.
In Germany, Mr Fiocchni expects the entire sector to see a decline of seven to eight per cent in summer business this year, with a “better development” expected for the coming winter tyre business.
Denna Bowman, Head Office