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Opel needs help as car sales skid across Europe

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 Opel needs help as car sales skid across Europe
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General Motors Opel operation has asked the German federal and state governments for guarantees to help it get through a difficult time for the automotive industry.
The move expands the car giant’s search for fresh backing to help battle the global market downturn, with the company claiming it will run out of cash early next year.
The forecast for the industry looks bleak, as new car sales in Europe fell 14.5 percent in October, the sixth consecutive monthly drop.
Only the Austrian market avoided a drop in sales, while Ireland and Spain showed massive falls, of 54.6 and 40 percent, respectively.
Last month, steelmaker Arcelor Mittal announced it was shutting down furnaces at a dozen sites across Europe for at least six months in response to a sharp fall in demand from carmakers.
Germany’s Volkswagen sold the most cars in Europe last month, despite a drop of nearly 8 percent compared to the same month last year.