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.
PSA is feeling especially bullish about DS's prospects, because although it refuses to push sales of existing models, buyers in France and China - its key commercial targets - are already accepting DS as a premium brand.
New metal was everywhere, to the extent that JLR, which is used to dominating motor shows, didn't really dominate this one.
That's because elsewhere there was the well-received Volvo XC90 for crowds to ogle, not to mention the cuteish Fiat 500X micro-crossover that most agreed did a much better job of associating itself with the continuing success of the 500 saloon than its potato-shaped MPV sibling, the 500L, ever did.
Audi had a blizzard of models, as is usual for a company with a model in every pigeonhole, though its five-door TT Sportback concept may have been an offering too far.
The TT was originally born as a sports coupé with Golf underpinnings: now the coupé is becoming a saloon again. Odd.
Opinions were divided over the new Lamborghini Asterion, which found a new look for Sant' Agata marque but looked quieter than the usual massive V10 seemed to promise, and the same lack of flamboyance went for AMG's slightly anonymous GT. It, too, seemed more about mechanical parts and performance than looks.
Vauxhall-Opel had the new Corsa on hand, and expects to do well with it, but the car is styled more for safety than stimulation. In fact, if you were looking for a theme for the show's new metal, right across the board, perhaps this was it. Boastfulness was out; "beef" was in.