ROLLE, Switzerland - The global car market will take until 2013 to return to last year's sales levels, a senior executive at Nissan Motor Co said on Tuesday.

I think the distress in the industry will continue. I think the suppliers will continue to be distressed. I think it's going to be very tough for the rest of the year, said Colin Dodge, Nissan executive vice president and chairman of the management committee for Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe.

Dodge said he was sticking to a global car market forecast of 54 million vehicles for this year.

Globally I don't think we'll be back to 68-70 million cars until 2013, and when we do it will be in different countries than before, Dodge said.

Nissan, Japan's No.3 automaker, revealed in May that it had lost $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter as global car sales slumped and the company forecast more losses this year.

Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn predicted then that Nissan would return to a profit in 2010/11 if external conditions stayed the same. (Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford)