In the end, they got the new Ford Mustang launch spot-on.

Ford always knew they had something the car lover would travel many a mile to see, so they simply invited everyone they could think of - hacks, dealers, workers and stalwarts from Mustang clubs, and corralled all 2500 of us in a vast Barcelona exhibition hall, to see the new machine with the all-new design and the independent rear suspension.

However, business talk came first. European big boss Stephen Odell opened up with bullish talk about being on track for profits during 2015, revealing that Ford in Europe had already launched ten models or big changes in the past year.

Then executive chairman Bill Ford stepped out, looking far more relaxed than I've ever seen him, to summarise the challenges the car industry faces: it put roughly a billion cars on the road in its first century, he revealed; the second billion is estimated to arrive by 2033, with all the pollution and congestion challenges that will bring.

Soon, 75 per cent of the world's population will live in cities. Connected cars - much more sophisticated than today's level of connection - will provide a big part of the answer, Ford reckoned. To show how communication matters, the company is planning to spend a third of its marketing budget on digital communications in future.