It's not the first time, but we hope it's the last. Last week General Motors announced what we knew had to happen sooner rather than later.
GM is cutting its overhead and closing nine factories.
It has too much capacity - or, to put it another way, it has too few customers.
Forty years ago, GM produced half the light vehicles sold in the United States. There were even some people in Washington who talked about antitrust.
But much has happened since then. Today GM is fighting to maintain 25 percent of a market that is full of tough competitors. Consumers have discovered that there are many choices besides GM, Ford and Chrysler.
The marketplace has determined how many cars and trucks GM can sell. The total isn't high enough to justify all the people and the plants, so GM executives did what they had to do.
This is only a snapshot. It will make GM healthy for a moment. If GM continues its downward spiral, management will have to do this again in a few years. If GM maintains its market share, the company will be the right size. If GM has some sales success, it might have to add an occasional second shift here and there.
But if sales and market share continue to fall, this is nothing more than a pause in a 40-year decline.
The good news is that GM is about to introduce some important SUVs and pickups. For a while a few weeks ago, that seemed like a problem with the price of gasoline skyrocketing every week. Now it seems the tide has turned, just in time for the GM product launch.
Last week when I filled up, gasoline was about $2 a gallon for regular. That's a big drop from the more than $3 a gallon that we saw only a few months ago. If gasoline prices stay low, it will be a great boost for GM's truck launches.
GM will be right-sized for now. But in the next couple of years it will need better than world-class cars to win back some of the customers that it lost during the past couple of decades. The competition is getting tougher, and there are more competitors.
It won't be easy, but in the long run it will be product that matters.