We had to laugh when we read the title of Automotive News executive editor Ed Lapham's column yesterday: "Did Toyota find a hidden gem at Rick Wagoner's garage sale?"

Funny things, garage sales. They're the most poignant illustrations of that old phrase, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

Lapham remarks that Subaru didn?t do much for GM ? the Saabaru 9-2x, with its 5,800 sales so far this year, is the best GM has to show for the technology share, and it sure as heck didn?t help the Saab brand. That much is obvious, of course ? that?s why GM sold its shares.

But Lapham goes on to ask the bigger questions ? what?s in it for Toyota, and is this the first of many units GM will shave off its unshapely figure? Subaru has excess capacity and much-needed technology, he answers, and Toyota also might want to start building its stable of brands now that it?s on pace to become a Big 3. As for GM?s future plans, he doesn?t say, but if GM wants to improve its credit rating, it needs to drop the less profitable business units.

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