This would be a happy show, the pundits said, but car makers would smile through gritted teeth.
New product would be thick on the ground but the Chinese, Russian and South American markets, whose expansion had recently done so much to generate the product rush, had waned and selling cars in these places was now going to get difficult.
In the event, it wasn't like that at all. Sure, there were concerns, but most sellers seemed to reckon they could cope.
China, after all, was still expanding at 6% annually. The US market was healthy, Southern Europe was improving and the good old UK was doing what it always seems to do these days - reliably accepting premium products in generous numbers.
Thus the Frankfurt motor show could get on with treating us to one of the most remarkable sets of new car launches ever; each of the new models the product of a series of bold decisions that must have been taken in the light of the "bottomless" recession that began in 2008.
The recession had confronted every car maker with the stark choice of investing heavily in an uncertain future, or losing vital ground to its deadly rivals. Frankfurt seemed to show that the biggest risk-takers had been the most successful.
UK-based premium manufacturers Jaguar and Bentley both unveiled cars of a type they'd never built before – SUVs.
To make matters better, the F-Pace and Bentayga were pronounced impressively competent and handsome by the show's swirling hordes of journalists and industry experts, and each manufacturer was able to report that strong demand had been established from faithful customers and frantic dealers even before anyone had driven their cars.