Well, the economies of the world may not be back to full health, but this week's Geneva motor show 2012 seemed to demonstrate that, from the point of view of being free again to create new models of every type, the motor industry certainly is. This, at last, was a show where it was possible to show big cars, expensive cars, fast cars, luxurious cars - as well as the green crop of hybrids and battery cars that has characterised all-important motor shows for the past five years.
What united them all was an efficiency story: even the traffic-stopping, two-tonne Bentley EXP 9 F SUV concept with its proposed 180mph top speed and 500-plus horsepower, had a lightness story and an engine efficiency angle in its make-up. And to go with it from the VW stable came stuff like an old-time full-size supercar concept from (VW-owned) ItalDesign called the ItalDesign Brivido, which reprised the '80s Lamborghini Espada, and even Infiniti had a supercar - the best-looking Infiniti ever, in my book - the awkwardly-named Infiniti Emerg-e which had a Lotus Evora chassis plus a lot of progressive Lotus hybrid bits.
At the outset of the show, the Opel-Vauxhall Ampera became Car of the Year in Europe, a piece of news that buoyed the hard-pressed company behind it, though the news puzzled some commentators who had just heard how US production of the revolutionary range extender had just been suspended. (This, said the Europeans, was simply because the price of petrol in America remains too cheap). The GM victory meant VW's smallest car, the Up missed out on the reward it probably deserved, but that didn't stop the handsome little car - shown in yet more iterations - from being the talk of the show, and establishing itself at the top of an emerging (and fast-selling) class it joined just a few months ago.