Business secretary Vince Cable will meet General Motors Co bosses at the Geneva motor show later this week to urge the group not to axe its plant in Ellesmere Port, northwest England, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.

The plant, which employs 2,100 staff and produces around 190,000 vehicles a year, has been under threat since GM revealed last month that its European Opel-Vauxhall unit lost 355 million pounds in 2011.

The report said Cable would meet with executives from Opel to outline the financial benefits the government could deliver if the American car maker made a long-term commitment to the plant.

A government spokesman would not confirm or deny whether Cable planned to go to Geneva when contacted by Reuters.

The visit would be the second time in a week Cable has met GM management to discuss the issue, after he met GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson in New York last Wednesday to urge the company to spare the Ellesmere Port plant.

Europe's car industry is edging closer to making production cuts that industry executives acknowledge are the only way of nursing loss-making businesses back to health.

GM, which last week announced a global alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen to share production, development and purchasing costs, is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.

Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant is where the Astra Sports Tourer estate car and the five-door Astra hatchback are built.

($1 = 0.6307 British pounds)

(Reporting by Rhys Jones)