There are increasingly strong signs coming out of the US that GM may be heading for a creative form of bankruptcy.

The ailing giant has already admitted that it is in ‘intense and earnest’ preparations for the move, which is seen as being encouraged by the Obama government.

Preparations for the plan – which will see GM split itself into two parts, roughly profitable and unprofitable – started a few days ago, with President Obama attempting to underpin confidence in both Chrysler and GM.

‘If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always. Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been. Because starting to day, the United States government will stand behind your warranty’

The biggest fear for other domestic carmakers is the effect GM’s period in reorganisation will have on the supplier base, although Obama has already pledged $5bn (£3.5bn) in aid to the component makers.

Ford has also just admitted that it is ready to lend money to suppliers to keep the show on the road. Ford’s home market boss, Mark Fields, said his company was preparing the way to keep the supply lines running in case of ‘a major industry event’.