As our battered shuttle bus bumped smokily through the traffic from Shanghai Pu Dong Airport to our hotel in the centre of the city yesterday, we drew up alongside a line of eye-catchingly vivid blue cars.

The cars in question were Volkswagen e-Ups, travelling line astern and standing out against the rash of black, silver and grey saloons in the city.

They were not strictly passenger cars; each was driven by an immaculately dressed, white-gloved chauffeur, presumably ferrying very important people who are in town for the Shanghai motor show.

It would have been a moment of stage-managed perfection on the part of Volkswagen, my host for tomorrow’s show, were it not entirely coincidental that our bus happened to be in the area.