Nein. That little word, or more likely a longer-winded variant, was not what GM Europe supremo Nick Reilly needed to hear from Germany’s coalition federal government over the little matter of backstopping a EUR1.3bn loan with taxpayers’ money.

The decision took an age to be made and finally announced and, having seen the horse-trading and pre-election promise back-tracking going on here in the UK since we managed to elect our very own coalition, I imagine there were a few ‘robust exchanges of views’ behind closed doors.

Our Simon Warburton has been on the case all week, talking to as many parties as possible, and it’s possible the European Investment Bank, various other EU funds and interested German states (ie those with Opel or supplier plants employing thousands) will kick in something with Uncle GM back home in the US making up the shortfall.

GM also made the news this week with the bizarre demand from on high that employees stop using the word ‘Chevy’, paying a 25c penalty every time this was uttered in RenCen towers. Naturally, I have a view on this and so do many American commentators such as this and this (in which the good Mr Batey, in a shaky YouTube video, attempts to justify the internal memo, which has already had to be explained by a widely distributed statement). And all on the taxpayers’ dime…

Why they had to polarise people like that in a week when a decent price and spec had just been announced for an important new entry-level and rental counter Chevy, and the company had earned kudos for its no spin, no-nonsense approach to a recall, is beyond me.

While Grumpy Olde Hack here was griping, editor Dave Leggett was out and about this week listening to Spyker/Saab chief opine on what’s happening to his Swedish opposition and having a natter to the organisers of the new way of doing motor shows both here in England and abroad.

And EVs came under scrutiny by our regular columnist Rob Golding while Nissan added a bit of noise to the Leaf.

Reminds me of the BMW engineers explaining how they ‘tuned in’ some exhaust ‘burble’ to a new V8 back in the early ’90s after potential buyers complained it was too quiet. Who’d have thunk then the bent-eight would now be an endangered species?

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor