One guess as to the two most-used words in the auto biz in the last week? No prizes for 'Chapter' and '11'. Chrysler's in it, GM is about to be in it, barring some sort of miracle over the weekend, and suppliers Visteon and Metaldyne filed for it. And don't even mention the word 'Opel'... Not a good week, then.

As summer warmth finally began to bathe us here in the UK this morning, what looked like a fairly cut and dried agreement between German and US governments to choose Fiat or Magna as saviour before handing the Final Decision over to GM, appeared to be disintegrating. Fiat was threatening to pull out, Magna was reportedly getting frustrated over the whole thing and politicians were bickering over some of the detail. And then there was GM's little Wednesday night last minute mention of an immediate need for another $500m to keep Opel on the rails a bit longer.

And then, just a few minutes ago, finally, came this breakthrough. Let's hope the MoU gets signed later today or an Opel insolvency cannot be ruled out.

In the US, things are also a little brighter this afternoon. The most influential bondholders' group has more or less agreed, doubtless with clenched teeth, to a slightly sweeter deal and it looks like the UAW union rank and file will ratify the latest agreement with GM, thus lining up one more detail to take into bankruptcy court next week.

Meanwhile, due process for Chrysler rumbles on. Today is the third day of hearings in front of judge Arthur Gonzalez, widely praised in media for his fast and fair rulings though a little bit of delay niggle courtesy of an Indiana state comptroller fretting over pension funds cannot yet be ruled out.

This week Chapter 11 finally claimed former Ford parts spin-off Visteon, long in trouble and unprofitable, and Metaldyne went into court as well, ending its links with Asahi Tec.

In the rest of the world, we learned that Indian buyers are opting for more well-specified Tata Nanos than expected. Not only do the ambitious want off the two-wheeler, but they want their new four-wheeler to have a/c. And why shouldn't they in that hot and humid climate?

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor