The swift development of Volvo's new S80 sedan shows how much a small, independent auto company can learn by cooperating with a good partner.
Volvo's joint venture with Mitsubishi at NedCar in the Netherlands has not always run smoothly.
But it is paying off in other ways.
Volvo is learning to become faster, more flexible and more efficient in Sweden. At the Torslanda body shop, the S80 can be produced on the same line as the S70 and V70.
That is just one of the manufacturing lessons absorbed from Mitsubishi, possibly Japan's most flexible carmaker. Volvo also cut the lead time for tooling-up with help from its partner.
Still, Volvo spent heavily to bring out the S80 - $3.2 billion by one estimate.
The car's failure would be traumatic. It is no wonder that companies the size of Volvo and larger are considering outright mergers.
With these stakes there isn't much room for error.