So it looks as if Vauxhall has escaped a serious axing as General Motors rushes to restructure the European division it thought it would have to sell.

Brit Nick Reilly has been sent in to restructure GM Europe - a plan he says will be finalised within three weeks.

Vauxhall/Opel to cut 9000 jobs

Job losses are pegged at 9000, with around 5300 falling on Germany and rest distributed between Belgium, Spain and the UK. Only the Antwerp plant looks set for the axe, unless another role can be found for it.

Ellesmere Port – currently working seven days a week to build up launch stocks of the new Astra – will breathe a relative sigh of relief.

Reilly said at this afternoon’s press conference that saving GM Europe would make ‘GM stronger globally’. “We all have the same objective: To create a viable, sustainable company. This is very do-able.”

That’s no surprise. Before the global crash GM had neatly engineered a new global manufacturing system and a range of global platforms. The crisis almost allowed that to slip through GM’s fingers, but if this restructuring works, GM’s dream of becoming a truly global carmaker is back on track.