If by now you haven’t gotten a clear understanding of just how bad the current state of the US economy is affecting the automakers, then hear this: General Motors is expected to reduce its # of car brands to only 4 in the US.

After a rigorous restructuring phase, GM will officially only own Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick. I’ve handily outlined the brands that will be gone in the image above (red means BYE-BYE). The move is being made to justify GM’s use of $13.4 billion in federal aid to keep the car company afloat amidst a combination of bad company decisions and bad economy.

You may think that’s the real news, but I think the real puzzler here is the fact that Buick remains on the list of brands to keep. Seriously, Buick?! I don’t think I’ve seen anybody drive a Buick (new or old) in a very long time. And when Oldsmobile went poof, I thought Buick would be next. I guess not. Am I the only one who thinks this is an odd brand to keep alive, especially over Saab, Saturn, or even Pontiac?