PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - German car maker Volkswagen is standing by its "ambitious goals" for this year despite a deepening slump in the European car market, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said on Wednesday.
The Wolfsburg, Germany-based car maker is forecasting an increase in vehicle sales and revenue for the group in 2012 and aims to keep operating profit at last year's level.
"We remain committed to our ambitious goals for 2012 in spite of all the headwinds and all the effort this takes," Winterkorn said in remarks prepared for delivery at an event on the eve of the Paris auto show.
Orders for the new-generation Golf hatchback, VW's all-time best-selling car, are "very pleasing", the CEO said. The new Golf is one of the highlights of the auto show and will come to dealerships in mid-November.
The CEO added that the auto show was taking place against a tough economic backdrop.
"This Paris motor show is taking place in strenuous times," he said. "The questions many of your colleagues are asking at the moment are how long will the crisis in Europe last and do still more difficulties lie ahead? How will the economy develop next year? And what about the auto industry in general?
"One thing is clear, there are no easy answers to these questions." (Editing by James Regan)