I attended the Volkswagen Group's Paris motor show preview event last night. I watched with a mild sense of awe as Porsche, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Ducati, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley and Volkswagen itself showed off some of the cars that will grace their stands as the Paris show hits full swing today.
The event - held this year at Halle Freyssinet, a former railway yard revamped into an exhibition hall - is a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' affair, simply due to the amount of new metal the group has to unveil. The boss of each manufacturer gets a few minutes to introduce their latest baby, then back come the dancing girls, glitter balls and techno music to set the scene for the next marque.
At the end of the evening it is left to VW Group chairman Martin Winterkorn to wrap everything up with a speech that sums up how the group is doing and where it is going in the future.
Beyond the sales figures and talk of tough trading environments (despite which VW Group is doing very nicely, thank you) there was an interesting nugget in Winterkorn's talk.
On the subject of alternatively powered cars, he stated that the group is starting to put most of its collective might behind Plug-in Hybrids, rather than full-on electric vehicles.