Over the last few weeks, General Motor’s European divisions have been locked into a kind of suspended animation.

GM Europe (GME) and Saab – as well as much of the rest of the automotive industry - are waiting for tomorrow’s unveiling of GM’s masterplan for survival.

That should come on Tuesday at 10pm our time (5pm in the US) and just after Wall Street has closed for the day.

Not unreasonably, GME and Saab fear the US government may rule that any future bailout funds for General Motors must stay in the US, which would effectively cut its European division adrift.

Klaus Franz, head of the GME works council, said: "There’s no future with GM. We can only see any prospects with a divestment."

To try and head off a staunching of funds from Detroit, German union bosses are lobbying the German regional governments to take substantial stakes in GME, in the same way that Lower Saxony owns 20 per cent of Volkswagen.

However, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, says she won’t discuss any rescue package until the GM plan has been unwrapped.