DaimlerChrysler AG has rejected a claim by its Korean partner Hyundai that a pact between the German group and Beijing Automotive violated a contract between the Chinese and Korean companies, Reuters reported.

Hyundai Motor said earlier this week that a pact signed last month between DaimlerChrysler and Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings (BAIC) violated an agreement between Hyundai and the Chinese car maker that prevented BAIC from seeking other auto partners, the news agency noted.

But DaimlerChrysler board member Eckhard Cordes, head of the trucks unit, told Reuters ahead of the Amsterdam trucks fair that he thought there must have been a misunderstanding on Hyundai's part, adding the German group had informed Hyundai of its plans.

DaimlerChrysler is the largest foreign shareholder in Hyundai Motors with a stake of just over 10 percent, the news agency said.

Reuters said that Hyundai set up a 50-50 joint venture with BAIC in October 2002 while Daimler and BAIC signed their pact in early September this year to make Mercedes luxury cars and trucks in China, where overall output has doubled this year.

Cordes told Reuters that DaimlerChrysler had signed a legally binding framework agreement with BAIC a few weeks ago, which had the support of the owners of BAIC and of the city of Beijing.

"It would be a very big surprise if there was anything like an exclusive agreement (with BAIC and Hyundai)... it would be inconceivable," Cordes reportedly said.