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’.
Toyota’s US boss has said his company is prepared for GM to call it a day in its current form. Toyota’s US arm is said to use around 300 of the same parts suppliers as GM
The losers in this dramatic re-modelling of GM will probably be GM’s bondholders who, industry experts predict, will be left well out of pocket.
More importantly, these moves will make GM Europe’s position even more alarming.
With the US government taking a leading role in re-inventing GM domestically, EU governments will be forced to get a grip on ways of propping up Vauxhall/Opel while stakes in the company are sold to new owners.