Suddenly, the air is full of valedictory verbiage about Sergio Marchionne, creator and boss of the Fiat Chrysler group, who has died with a shocking suddenness that seems completely at odds with his dominant, always-there persona in life.

His legacies will be the years-long rescue of Fiat and Chrysler (and Alfa), his certainty that big-note corporate car industry mergers would have to continue — hence the audacious but unsuccessful attempts to join up with GM — and an abiding impression that on the corporate stage he was somehow more sure-footed than the rest of them.

Hence the feeling of concern we car-lovers felt, every one of us, when we speculated on what life was going to be like without him at the top of FCA following next year’s much-publicised retirement. British-born Jeep chief Mike Manley must be feeling that in spades right now, having been handed just about the toughest big-note car industry gig going.