Rivals at Geneva convention
Its domestic industry is relatively small yet all the biggest and most important manufacturers are here, and they have a habit of saving their biggest unveilings for Geneva, too.
A little rivalry this year brought extra spice to the show.
McLaren and Ferrari are all set to do battle on the Formula 1 circuit, and at Geneva this year there was some early sparring as the two manufacturers unveiled ultra-high-performance road cars vying for the same exclusive clientele.
Both the McLaren P1 and the oddly named (in English at least) Ferrari LaFerrari have price tags above £750,000, can achieve more than 200mph and use a combination of petrol and electric power to improve their performance.
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Both drew huge attention, with crowds leaning in to catch a glimpse hours after the official unveiling.
With such price tags and exclusivity, they are of limited relevance to the majority of buyers, but their sheer gravitas generates interest and performance- enhancing hybrid systems will become increasingly commonplace in future.
The importance of Europe was reinforced by Infiniti's presence at Geneva, as it chose to launch its new premium saloon dubbed Q50.
Targeted directly at the German competition that dominate this sector right across the more affluent European markets, it showed a more mature direction in terms of its design and powertrain with the offering of a 2.2-litre diesel for the first time.
Infiniti executives were also confident that the Q50 would begin the long process of gaining a foothold in the crucial European market.
The electric car has become something of a mainstay for the show stand already.
Almost every manufacturer was displaying either a new pure electric or hybrid vehicle, an improved version or concepts that point towards future possibilities.
Nissan's Leaf, for example, appeared in revised form, with a lower entry price, improved range and subtly enhanced styling, while Renault showed its Zoe electric supermini, which goes on sale in a few months.
At the more radical end of the scale, Hyundai displayed its hydrogen fuel cell ix35, which has the potential to provide diesel-like range but on electric power and zero emissions – only the cost of the technology and the infrastructure stands in the way.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen showed what can be achieved at the extremes of existing technology; its XL1 two-seater will go into limited production, and thanks to its super-slippery aerodynamics and radical weight saving, it can achieve official figures of 314mpg and 21g/km of CO2 – way ahead of any existing car.
The Geneva Motor Show runs until Sunday.