Actually, there has been more optimism than I expected here today.
General Motors showed three near-production cars which should all hit production status in 2011 or shortly thereafter.
The Cadillac Converj - yes, it IS spelled wrong - is a gorgeous coupe that will share
technology with Chevrolet's Volt - electric power, with an on-board combustion engine to recharge the battery if, as and when needed.
This technology is becoming known as "range-extending", and is also featured in the Mercedes-Benz E-Cell Plus and a couple of concepts from Chrysler, about which, more in a subsequent blog.
All three new GMs promise to be useful players - as long as gasoline stays relatively expensive.
Bob Lutz, GM's product czar, said in an interview (soon to be posted here too), "It's a lot easier to plan products around the European gasoline price which ranges from $6 to $9 per gallon, than it is [in the US] where it varies from $1.50 to $4.00."
This is because even at its lowest price in Europe, gasoline pricing is a big factor in a car purchase. Only when it is at its peak in North America does it really enter the purchase decision.
This past summer when it was high here, Honda Civic sold like gangbusters in the US. Once the price retreated in the fall, Civic sales fell too.
With product planning cycles being what they are, no-one in the industry can really react fast enough to rapid changes in gasoline pricing. Companies headquartered in countries where gasoline is always high obviously have an advantage.
Still, GM seemed to be saying the right things, and focussing on the new products they have in the pipeline.
Let's hope they survive long enough to see them through.