Bloomberg reports that General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group plan to let engineers cooperate with US scientists to design ways to cut production and development costs.

The report said that the three companies and the National Institute for Standards and Technology plan to develop technology for factory tools and improve working conditions of line workers. Foreign carmakers such as Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are excluded from the project, to be announced today.

``The automotive industry came to us to share in the technical knowledge the institute has,'' Philip Bond, Commerce Department undersecretary for technology, said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday. ``It is the appropriate role for government to provide some unique, pre-competitive research, which may be too costly for one company or industry to undertake.''