The future of 5,500 Vauxhall workers hangs in the balance after US car giant General Motors (GM) scrapped plans to sell its European business.
GM had agreed to sell Opel and Vauxhall to Canadian car parts supplier Magna, but plans were abandoned last night after the GM board met in Detroit.
Business secretary Peter Mandelson is understood to be seeking private talks with GM to try to secure jobs at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, where the Astra is manufactured, and at the Luton plant, where the small Vivaro commercial van is made.
The Times reported Mandelson is believed to be able to loan £400m as part of negotiations to secure the jobs.
GM has lost more than £49bn ($80bn) over the past four years. It received a £30bn ($50bn) cash injection from the US government this year.