Canadian auto parts company Magna International Inc , one of the bidders vying to buy carmaker Opel from General Motors, reported a quarterly loss Friday, 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 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 GM 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 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Magna said its North American and European average dollar content per vehicle fell 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in the second quarter compared with a year earlier.

Complete vehicle assembly sales decreased 60 percent to $423 million, while complete vehicle assembly volumes declined 65 percent to about 14,100 units, Magna said.

Its operating loss in the quarter was $237 million, compared with an operating profit of $319 million a year earlier.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins in Toronto and Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman and John Wallace)

($1=1.077 Canadian dollar)