Heavy provisioning, a held dividend and the absence of a much- touted cash call on shareholders was exactly what the market wanted to hear from a man who earnt quite a City following in reviving the fortunes of Rover.
Cost-cutting, factory closures and streamlining of retained manufacturing capacity provide a headline-making platform for recovery. Actual relaunch will depend on culture change within the organisation and, even for Mr Simpson, that will not be easy. For the moment, however, he seems to have a following wind.
The key automotive market for Lucas seems to be turning his way, not least in the US, where Mr Simpson says: 'Things are going like gang- busters.'