Facing a Select Committee must be right up there in terms of daunting tasks. Professionally angry and often half informed, there's a menace about the MPs that must make even the most hardened executives shake.

Today, the VW Group's UK boss Paul Willis faced down a Transport Select Committee over the emissions scandal, joined by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief Mike Hawes. They put on a near textbook display - with Willis offering the most convincing performance I've seen from anyone at VW so far.

Humble, apologetic and unstinting in his declaration of being prepared to work hard to win back the confidence of customers, Willis hit the mark. He managed the hard task of saying sorry yet staying in command, holding a firm but fair line when questioners tried to put words in his mouth. At all times he stayed on top of the sometimes disparate and tangential lines of questioning.

Nor did he duck hard questions. He gave more insight into whether VW had used the manipulation software in European tests (most likely yes), confirmed 400,000 UK cars would likely need fuel injector fixes over software upgrades, revealed owners of 2.0-litre EA189 engines would be dealt with first, as the fix is most logical, and confessed he couldn't promise VW would meet the timeline to sort out all affected cars by the end of 2016.