Opel has asked the German chancellor Angela Merkel for support.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung, management and the works council wrote to the chancellor urging her to support a EUR40bn credit package for the European automotive industry, made available by the European Investment Bank.

In addition Opel asked for scrapping incentives for old cars, and interest-free credit for the purchase of new cars.

The letter was signed by Carl-Peter Forster, president of General Motors Europe and Opel chairman, and Opel managing director Hans Demant, as well as the head of the works council, Klaus Franz.

Having announced a billion dollar loss for the last quarter, GM is aiming to cut US$750m in costs from its European operations, Franz told Financial Times Deutschland. But a GM spokesman said planned investments would not be affected and there also were no plans for any workforce reduction.