As you read this the US Congress and the White House – still under the control of George W – are conducting hand-to-hand policy combat over the details of a bill which will see $15bn handed over to GM and Chrysler to prevent their immediate collapse.

Ford, for the moment, may not ask for a loan, though it might, next year, ask for a ‘line of credit’ as a fall-back.

However, this is no British Leyland-style hand-out.