SAINT-DENIS, France - The world auto industry, and in particular the European market, will have a difficult 2010, the head of PSA Peugeot Citroen's Peugeot and Citroen brands said on Friday.

The car industry worldwide has been rocked by a profound crisis, and in some European markets carmakers are starting the year having to learn to live without the government-backed scrapping incentive schemes that made life easier in 2009.

The year 2010 will be difficult, as we all know, for the automobile industry, especially in Europe, Jean-Marc Gales told reporters, predicting international growth alongside single-digit contraction in demand in Europe.

Gales said Peugeot wanted to become the world's seventh-biggest car brand by 2015, compared with 10th place in 2009.

We're quite optimistic, given that we had a very good end to 2009, said Gales, without giving further details.

PSA Peugeot Citroen repeated its 2009 financial objectives at the end of November, saying it was targeting positive free cash flow. It remained cautious on 2010, however, citing a probable impact from the end of scrapping schemes. (Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Helen Massy-Beresford; Editing by James Regan)