The German government has said it is open to providing a 1 billion euro loan guarantee for Opel as long as the money is used solely to sustain operations within Germany. It also says aid to Opel will not be tied to US actions on a possible bailout.

The German government is prepared to offer 1 billion euros in loan guarantees to Opel, but says it's decision on providing money will not depend on US actions.

Opel parent company GM is still awaiting legislation from the US government that will provide 25 billion US dollars in aid to the cash-strapped US automotive industry.

"We can't say yet whether (the granting of guarantees) will be necessary," said Thomas Steg, a spokesman for the German government in, a Reuters story. The German government is still assessing how much help, if any, Opel needs.

But it is really GM which is in dire need of money. GM has already rejected an offer to sell Opel to the German solar energy company SolarWorld. But SolarWorld said any sale would be contingent on a complete separation of Opel from GM.

Many analysts believe that GM will have to shed some its brands to remain viable. Opel is one of largest car makers in Europe and employs 27,000 people in Germany. It's Insignia just won European Car of the Year.


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