Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli has repeated statements made by a number of CEOs from rival carmakers including Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn that the U.S. auto market is likely to slide even further and there’s no prediction of a recovering any time soon. Nardelli expects sales this year to drop below 15.5 million units, down from 16.1 million the year before, and is predicting 2009 will have an even lower tally.

Chrysler sales in the U.S. have already dropped 15.5% in the first three months of the year and a similar story can be told for a number of other carmakers including both foreign and domestic makes. Speaking with The Detroit News, Nardelli said he doesn’t expect a second-half recovery.

Earlier this week reports emerged claiming Chrysler could have lost more than $6.8 billion in 2007. In response, Nardelli explained that is making progress toward its goal of achieving profitability and is on track to deliver a positive cash flow. Nardelli has previously stated Chrysler would remain unprofitable this year and before that he said the carmaker would only return to profitability in three years’ time.