I've never seen anything like this. Usually when in trouble the ad you see is something like $10,000 off pickup trucks, not support of the chairman.

It was good year for car sales overall, but GM, Ford suffered particularly because of the collapse of their big SUVs.

They might creep slightly above breakeven in 2007, still with losses in North America, but smaller than those in 2006.

It is due entirely to the Big Three's unusual level of sales to daily rental fleets.