STUTTGART, GERMANY and DETROIT – For more than a year, German luxury carmakers BMW AG and Daimler AG have explored ways to cooperate and share some production and development costs, according to the Detroit News.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the longtime rivals may be close to signing cost-sharing agreements on such items as power window motors.

Both companies declined to comment, and some analysts said the timing of the report suggested it might have been intended as a distraction from what are likely to be very poor financial results at Daimler.

The two automakers are struggling with slumping demand for luxury cars in their major markets and a growing competitive threat as Porsche and Volkswagen AG combine forces.