General Motors European division Opel and Vauxhall has asked the German federal and state governments for 1.5 billion euros in state aid.
That will help pay for a restructuring plan under which it hopes to break even by next year.
Opel chief executive Nick Reilly said they are looking for a further 1.2 billion euros in aid from Britain, Spain, Poland and Austria.
He told reporters: “Under normal circumstances we would access the credit market but in the current environment this option is just not available to us and that’s why we’re asking governments to help. To make it very clear we are not looking for grants, we are looking for loans or loan guarantees.”
Reilly said the restructuring will shrink the company and reduce overcapacity.
Of Opel’s nearly 50,000 workers, 8,370 will lose their jobs.
GM is still trying to reach agreement on concessions with its unions; the closure of the plant at Antwerp in Belgium is a major sticking point.
Over the next four year years Opel and Vauxhall plan to spend eleven billion euros to develop new models.