The headlines may tell you French business is in strife, but the roads around Porte de Versailles leading to the Paris motor show were as packed as ever yesterday as bigwigs and hacks flocked into the display halls that contain this traditionally chaotic event.
Optimism flows through the car business better than almost any other industry: if conditions are even half-okay, the world's car manufacturers will keep the new model count at a decent level, and so it was here. Carmakers learned decades ago that to stop improving what they offer is to hand the opposition an Instant advantage.
Besides, things are indeed half-okay at present. Ford boss Mark Fields, who jetted in from Dearborn, had good European news - a Ford Mustang for Europe, forecasts of a continuing gentle recovery in the European market, and the prospect of genuine black ink for his company's European ops next year.
That comes thanks to the reduction in its manufacturing capacity here by nearly 20 per cent, and a similar upcoming trim in the number of platforms it uses, down to nine, from the two dozen of the mid-2000s.
The French companies were bullish, too, without going overboard. Renault made the biggest gesture towards the future, confidently showing a svelte new Espace MPV (its roof chopped by 68mm so it could be called a crossover) at a time when other commentators continue to say the market doesn't need big MPVs like it did.
That reluctance seems true of the UK, anyway, where the model is unlikely to arrive any time soon – although Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn did hint at a possible future in the right-hand drive market.
France's big three all showed super-frugal concepts in response to a French government initiative to encourage them to build cars with fuel consumptions below 2.0 litres/100km - better than 141mpg.