I know this is heresy, but looking at the question from as far away as the width of the Atlantic, I really don't believe it would matter if Chrysler's business were folded into GM's, especially if the move amounted to extra security for the pair of them.

Chrysler There will be many in the US who are motivated by old, nostalgic love for the 'Mopar' marques, but from where I'm standing, the only one of these two which has done good work (or looks like doing it in the near future) is GM.

The Chrysler design cupboard seems to be bare, not least because so many of its design staff have departed for pastures new. The bits of Chrysler worth keeping, Dodge and Jeep in my book, could be maintained under GM leadership. Indeed, they might well find themselves better preserved.

The Chrysler marque itself stopped meaning very much to me 20 years ago. I mean, who cares if the Voyager and PT Cruiser live or die?

My own impression is that, even when times are as tough as this, a GM led by Rick Wagoner and the fine teams that he's assembled, stands a better chance of making the cars we'll need tomorrow than what I've seen of the modern, Cerberus-controlled Chrysler. All GM needs is time to implement its bold plan followed by some faith from car buyers.

However horrible it seems, this trough is part of a cycle. Things will not stay like this. From what I've seen of GM's future plans, the giant conglomerate is as prepared for the car-selling conditions of tomorrow as Chrysler is not. Were they able to build something stronger by merging, the plan would get my vote in an instant.