Collaborations and joint ventures are increasingly common, where even direct competitors are likely getting together for the co-development of future models and technologies. BMW and Daimler may be next in line to join hands for the sharing of vehicle architectures, according to German news outlet Handelsblatt.

The possible co-development of future models is aimed at the compact car ranges of the respective automakers, namely the 1 Series and the A-Class model lines, and this would be part of a wider cooperation that also includes technology sharing for autonomous cars, the German newspaper said.

The tie-up, should it take place, will help the two brands save costs and subsequently be able to invest billions in the development of self-driving systems in order to keep their technological lead ahead of traditional carmaking rivals, as well as newcomers to the industry such as Waymo, the publication said. The initiative will come, in part, from sharing patents, in addition to shared development.

Additionally, transmission and battery cells are the major components likely to be shared betwen the two firms in the future, it said. Should discussions for the joint effort materialise, the first co-developed compact cars will only appear after 2025 at the soonest, Handelsblatt said, adding that the engineers from each company would mount stiff resistance to such plans.

BMW Group and Daimler AG have already started cooperating in other areas. Together with Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group via Audi and Porsche, the companies formed part of a joint venture named IONITY for the development and implementation of a high-power charging network for EVs across Europe, with all founding partners holding equal shares in the joint venture.