The "Carlos and Dieter Show" has been a highlight of most of Europe's big autumn car shows since 2011. That's where Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn hold a press conference in Paris or Frankfurt and take a ton of questions and dazzle us with plain talk about various projects the companies are cooperating on.
It's usually nuts and bolts, hard-core auto industry collaboration, such as joint engine plants, but it's not dull at all given the chemistry between the two leaders and their command of detail. Still, if a "Dieter and Li Shufu" extravaganza ever goes on the road, it could be way more entertaining — and certainly a lot more science fiction-y.
I wish I'd been a fly on the wall during the two meetings between Zetsche and Li, his new No. 1 shareholder, the Chinese billionaire owner of Geely and Volvo.
Wait, I didn't have to be. Zetsche seemed pretty open about what was discussed when they met for the first time a year ago and again recently, after it emerged that Li had amassed nearly 10 percent of Daimler.
Zetsche has already learned one key thing about Li. The man's obsessed with disruption. That is, Li is a disrupter who is trying to figure out how not to be disrupted himself. And he's got some interesting ideas about Elon Musk, his only challenger for the title of The Auto Industry's Most Interesting Man.
Li, who has done quite well by Volvo, is anxious about who he'll need to compete with in this future where every last little thing in the car business is supposed to change.