As Carlos Ghosn and Dieter Zetsche swept into the press conference to announce their strategic partnership they brought with them a sense of calm - albeit one followed by a baying throng of pushing and shoving photographers desperate to capture a moment many thought impossible.

Before their arrival there was a bizarre feeling of uncertainty about proceedings. Renault, Nissan and Daimler staff stood alongside one another, meeting, greeting and cajoling visitors in the right direction in three widely different styles that seemed to underline their varying company heritage and working practices.

If that felt disjointed, the release of the partnership announcement half an hour before the official conference did nothing to improve matters. Such had been the secrecy surrounding the deal not even people working for the companies involved knew the details - press officers were as keen to read the release as the journalists.