Canadian auto parts company Magna International Inc , one of the two bidders vying to buy carmaker Opel from General Motors, on Friday reported a second quarter loss, hurt by steep declines in global auto production.

Magna posted a net loss of US$205 million or US$1.83 per share, compared with a net profit of US$227 million or US$1.98 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Sales in the quarter fell 45 percent to U$3.5 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of US$1.07 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Vehicle production plunged 49 percent in North America and 28 percent in Europe during the quarter compared with a year earlier, putting a big dent in Magna's sales.

The German government, which is putting up loan guarantees for the purchase of European carmaker Opel, is pushing U.S. seller General Motors to accept Magna's bid, but GM said on Thursday it still had problems with Magna's offer.

Shares in Magna, which is based in Aurora, Ontario, closed at C$51.38 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)

($1=1.077 Canadian dollar)