Yesterday evening Fiat lodged its bid for General Motors Europe. Today, the German government has started weighing both Fiat’s offer and that from automotive engineering powerhouse Magna and Russian carmaker Gaz.

Considering that the Vauxhall badge and the fate of the two Vauxhall plants (Ellesmere Port and Luton) are in play, there’s remarkably little noise from this side of the Channel.

The local press is alert to the dangers, though hardly up in arms. The UK national press is knee deep in MP’s expenses claims and there’s been little said recently by the Government over the fate of Vauxhall.

Which is very odd, because leaks from the Fiat camp suggests that if the Italians merge Fiat Auto and Opel/Vauxhall, the UK plants will probably be axed.

I have a hunch – and it’s no more than that – that Ellesmere Port may have already quietly lined an escape route no matter what happens to GME.