They served Artsoppa (Swedish pea soup) with Sweden's best fruit drinks at the Saab stand here.
Carl-Peter Forster, as head of Opel now, unveiled a new Astra at an auto show press conference that was only in German.
Hummer and Cadillac were nowhere to be found. And, most important, neither was General Motors Europe -- which, after decades of guiding GM brands in Europe, is history.
This year's Frankfurt show was the first example that life is different inside the New GM. Two Old brands, Saab and Opel, have returned to their beginnings -- focused on their home markets, home languages and heritage.
Life, awkwardly, is moving forward for everyone in the Old GM brands. But what's behind the curtain is the new brand that is so pivotal for the future of the New GM in Europe and beyond: Magna.
For GM, technology and product development hinge on efficient cooperation among the New GM, Opel and Magna as Opel's likely future majority owner. The new relationship is crucial for everyone.
“Without the GM ties, it will not work out” for Opel, Forster admitted during his presentation of the Astra. More important, without Opel, GM is (nearly) toast. GM needs a stake in product planning and technology sharing for vehicles that already have been developed in Ruesselsheim.
A GM competitor estimates that a third of product development at Opel went to the Old GM's global efforts.
GM insiders think that GM, Magna and Opel can work well together in purchasing and product development -- and that GM will have control over what happens next.
Why on Earth wouldn't Magna want to develop things our way? GM executives have said. To them, it makes no sense for Magna to pay, say, 30 percent more to re-engineer products for essentially the same revenue.
But if you're Magna and if you control two-thirds of the deal, you're going to want to have the say over everything -- especially if you want to expand as an automaker.
That may be hard for GM to swallow. And therein lies the story to watch.
In light of GM's failed relationships with Fiat and other automakers, the question is: Can GM smoothly and efficiently be a minority partner in a deal that is essential to its business?
The give and take will be fascinating. The end is not clear.