With General Motors giving dealers $7,000 payments the last remaining and in stock, it's a bitter ending for those two brands (and possibly Saab, which still is hanging by a thread). The last year has been the worst in the company's history and is an inauspicious way to begin its second century in business. Among the lowlights are the removal of two CEOs (Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson), bankruptcy, unceremonious shedding of dealers and the shuttering of Pontiac, Saturn and most likely Saab. Other loose ends include the possible sale of Hummer to Chinese interests. While former AT&T boss Ed Whitacre is firmly in control now and GM lifer Mark Ruess at the helm of North American operations, GM has a long way to go before it is even a shadow of its former self. Perhaps the biggest barrier to future growth is the large number of disgruntled consumers left in the wake of this corporate meltdown. Not only are there people still mad at the General for building lousy cars in the 1980s, the pool of potential customers for the remaining divisions product has gotten smaller with upset Saturn, Pontiac and Saab loyalists who will likely not be shopping for a Chevy, Buick, Cadillac or GMC anytime soon. Note to —if you want to do something with the Mercury brand, start courting orphaned Saturn owners with the same kind of customer service they've come to expect.