PARIS -- Alliances were the talk of the biennial Paris auto show last week, as the industry rebuilds from its toughest year in decades.
Consider what happened within a span of a few days last week:
-- Nissan-Renault boss Carlos Ghosn said he's still interested in General Motors Co. as he strengthens ties with Daimler AG.
-- A Nissan Motor Co. executive said his company is in advanced talks with Daimler about using a Mercedes car platform for the Infiniti brand.
-- Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche talked of a hybrid alliance with Toyota Motor Corp.
-- In Sweden, BMW AG and Saab Automobile announced an engine partnership, with more cooperation on the way.
-- And Volkswagen AG Chairman Ferdinand Piech said buying Fiat S.p.A.'s Alfa Romeo is still very much in his sights.
"We are patient and have time," Piech told reporters.
Within hours, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne fired back at VW: "Let them wait."
It was a sharp contrast to the Paris show four years ago, when Ghosn strode briskly into a packed ballroom just off the Champs-Elysees and proclaimed that his companies were "very interested" in forging ties with GM.
Within days, GM would spurn the overture, stay the course and continue its slide into bankruptcy.