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European Automakers Ask EU for $54B Low-Interest Loan

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2006 Opel GT

2006 Opel GT

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In yet another sign that the current financial crisis is quickly spreading worldwide, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association recently asked the European Union for a 40-billion-euro low-interest loan ($54.5 billion) in part to help them meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements, reports the Detroit News. This is more than double the amount recently approved by Congress for U.S. automakers.

Members of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association mentioned the recent U.S. assistance package for domestic autos and claimed that both the global financial crisis and the drop in consumer confidence "require government intervention." The Association represents 15 brands, including BMW, Daimler AG, Fiat, Ford of Europe, General Motors of Europe, Renault, Toyota Motor Europe, and Volkswagen AG.

Said association president Christian Streiff, "Carmakers face increasingly hesitant consumers and call on governments to respond, stimulate the economy, relieve the credit crunch and restore consumer confidence."--Colin Mathews
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