General Motors Corp. (www.gm.com), has agreed to provide as much as $200 million to help American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. end a two-month strike that has idled all or part of 33 GM plants.

The aid will be used for costs such as early retirements and buyouts of union workers at the supplier, GM said yesterday in a U.S. regulatory filing. A spokesperson for the Detroit-based automaker said "the offer will help bridge the gap between the negotiating parties."

The United Auto Workers walkout at American Axle, GM's largest axle supplier, cut the automaker's production by 230,000 vehicles through April and cost $800 million in the first quarter, GM said. The strike began Feb. 26.

The assistance would come once an agreement is reached with the UAW. "We are hopeful this offer (from GM) will help to end this strike as quickly as possible," said an American Axle spokesperson.