So Chrysler vice president Jim Press has been cajoling (and threatening, or so it seems) his dealers to buy more cars from the company in order to keep it afloat until the end of March, when it gets $4bn from the US government.

And it only gets the cash if it can demonstrate its viability, and that means selling some cars.

Press probably thought this would be a rallying cry to the troops, the dealers who are the front-line casualties of the complete collapse in Chrysler sales (55 per cent down compared with last January, 31 per cent compared with December for a total of 62,157 cars in the US.) Come on boys, let’s shift some metal! Let’s sell some cars! Yeehah! And so on and so on.

Trouble is, two days earlier Chrysler said it was going to close three factories precisely because it didn’t want any more unsold cars sitting around and it already has 360,000 of the damn things, which is enough for 150 days’ supply for the whole of the US.