So why did General Motors really decide to bail out of the European market after persevering for so long? As boss Mary Barra pointed out, GM took over control of Opel in 1929 and Vauxhall in 1925.

What’s more, GM had the perfect opportunity to throw in the towel on Opel/Vauxhall in 2009, when it filed for bankruptcy and came within a whisker of selling off its European arm to component giant Magna.

At this morning’s press conference, Mary Barra twice said the decision to sell was because of "key fundamental shifts" in European markets over the past 12 months. She listed them as "changes in customer preference to geopolitical and regulatory environments to the impact of technology".

Clearly, geopolitics meant Brexit, which GM has already blamed for missing its aim of breaking even in Europe after over a decade of losses. The fall in the value of the pound against the euro put a dent in GM’s accounts.

Read the latest on PSA's purchase of Opel/Vauxhall

As for "changes in the regulatory environment", I would suggest that this is probably a reference to the impact of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.