Car company bosses won't be seeking marriages made in heaven in the city of romance this week, but at the Paris auto show they will be looking to start new affairs or deepen existing liaisons.
Automakers are wooing each other more than ever after the economic crisis left them needing to share the huge costs of developing new models and fresh technologies.
Saab's announcement today that it will buy engines from BMW is likely to be followed by more disclosures about partnerships during the show's press days on Thursday and Friday.
Expect news from Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche about how much progress has been made on the companies' plans to share smaller engines and small car platforms.
Daimler's research chief, Thomas Weber, hinted earlier this month that the tie-up will be expanded to include electric motors, batteries and powertrains.
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer's strategy even before the crisis was to seek potential partners or buyers for the company's technology. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, which already has an engine alliance with BMW, could buy carbon fiber parts that the Munich-based premium brand is developing for its lightweight battery-powered Megacity Vehicle.
In addition, PSA said today it will deepen its electric vehicle relationship with Mitsubishi, which supplies the French carmaker with rebadged i-MiEV electric minicars that will be shown in Paris as the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero. The French and Japanese automakers said Wednesday they will start development of an electric version of the Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo. The car-derived vans will be made at PSA's plant in Vigo, Spain, starting in 2012.
There will be plenty of sweet-talking in Paris, but the future profitability of many companies now depends on whether their tie-ups are short-term flings or long-lasting relationships.