The news that Magna – one of two bidders for General Motor’s European arm – wants to turn Opel into a contract manufacturer will echo around the global automotive industry.

Perhaps it has taken a contract manufacturer to point out the obvious to the mass producers, but the plan to offer Opel’s Delta and Epsilon platforms – and space on the production lines - to other car makers has been a long time coming.

Magna’s logic is rock solid. Designing and engineering a new platform is extremely expensive. That means that a car maker has to build huge volumes of vehicles based on the said platform to make a profit.

General Motors grasped the volume nettle with its global platform programme, which would have seen the Delta and Epsilon II platforms being used globally by a number of different brands. Ironically, GM has fallen to pieces just as the global project was being rolled out.