You wonder whether new GM boss Fritz Henderson has been watching the goings on at Chrysler with some interest.

Now that one of GM’s key domestic rivals has gone into Chapter 11 administration, surely America’s biggest car-maker can’t be far behind?

Of course, there are lots of hoops to jump through yet. But there’s no doubt that Mr Henderson has been warming us up for this eventuality since he took over from Rick Wagoner in March.

GM’s bondholders will lose millions if it does happen and the UAW – the US autoworkers’ union – will get a raw deal too. But Chapter 11 will allow General Motors to restructure and it will mean survival.

Whatever happens, though, it’s clear that Opel-Vauxhall will end up being a virtually separate entity. Considering the mess the mothership got itself in, that’s probably a good thing.