Motor shows feature a lot of corporate self-promotion, on a grand scale. VW dispensed with the usual round of press conferences for its 11 launches (that’s 11 launches from seven brands) and held them all in one place on the night before the show.

It was a big event. 500-odd people gathered in a one-night-only amphitheatre at a cost of £850,000. Cars as diverse as the Bugatti Veyron GranSport and the facelifted Skoda Octavia were wheeled out (the Veyron slipping and sliding across the amphitheatre’s glossy white floor) in a reminder of the Group’s hugely diverse portfolio. Audi turned out an A4 that does 60mpg, and we even got a neat 4x4 Caddy van with windows, a kind of Teutonic version of the Kangoo Trekka.

All of this was for show, and as we left, workers were already dismantling the temporary structure, with its four bars and curved staircases and 50ft projector screen.