If you like British cars this has to be a bit a landmark show, what with McLaren's first appearance on the circuit with the intriguing P1, the arrival of the fourth generation of the legendary Range Rover and, of course, the debut of the much-anticipated Jaguar F-Type. Plus another variation on another UK motor icon in the Mini Paceman.

Yet the creative vibrancy of Britain's car industry will be far from the hottest topic here, the calamitous collapse of European sales and the dire effect that's having on the fortunes of PSA, Renault, Fiat and Vauxhall-Opel throwing a pall over the show despite the French makers putting on a brave show of new product.

Another of their problems will be the arrival of the seventh series Golf, whose substantial and subtle redevelopment looks like scoring VW another big hit. Not that that will be a problem for buyers, who look like they're going to enjoy a usefully improved car.

Still, despite the gloom, you can bet that the car makers will manage to put on a show of optimism, with plenty of progress to back it up. Which can only be a good thing for car buyers, even if there are fewer of them.