At last, one long-running General Motors issue more or less got sorted today. No, not that one, this one. As to Magna, well, there was another optimistic forecast this week but, with the Spanish still being bolshie and some sort of union ballot not due till Monday, we're not holding our breath.

I think it's been pick-on-GM week. As well as Magna, there were almost daily updates on the Korean Question and the little matter of a trillion won loan which is still to be sorted. Then, one of Obama's former 'Government Motors' czars weighed in with his views on former management and, to cap the week off, the new CEO had the cash component of his pay cut as part of the administration's new assault on what it regards as excessive executive compensation.

Meanwhile, our gaffer's been visiting the top non-family man at Ford who was nicely upbeat and hoping to see some black ink cross his Detroit desk some time in 2011. There was also some welcome black ink on desks in Korea, too.

A much-reduced Tokyo show saw the foreigners stay away, well, almost all, but the just-auto newshounds did not return empty laptopped, and there was still plenty to see.

As one who prefers automatic transmission (rare in the UK, but why have a dog and bark yourself?) I was interested to see Audi combine start-stop and its twin clutch transmission which I used to call DSG but I see they have rebranded as 'S tronic'. That'd be an interesting combo to try but, given most UK press offices' unwillingness to let non-consumer media have a go at anything on test fleets, I guess I'll have to wait till the annual industry drive day next May.

If you'd like to know more about stop-start in general, our researchers have been busy on that, too.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor