The end for MG Rover - if this indeed is the end - was nothing less than shambolic.
"Even Rover's most loyal supporters cannot now see it lasting"
Even as Patricia Hewitt was announcing that the company had called in the receivers, Rover was telling the BBC that the secretary of state was wrong.
Ms Hewitt insists that she was briefed by John Towers, the chairman of the company that controls Rover, and acted in good faith.
But when Rover later put out a statement to clarify its position, there was no mention of receivers, administrators or liquidators.
It simply said that Rover had asked PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountancy firm, to advise the board on the company's position.
Price-Waterhouse confirmed to the BBC it would be helping Rover, but as yet was not acting as the receiver.
To say that this is embarrassing for the government understates by some margin the position in which it now finds itself.
Because having told the world that Rover was finished, it will have seriously damaged what little credibility the company had left.
Even Rover's most loyal supporters cannot now see it lasting much longer.