Hyundai says it does not need DaimlerChrysler, its alliance partner in Asia the past four years.

DaimlerChrysler, which has declined to help fund the turnaround plan of Japanese partner Mitsubishi, owns 10.46% of Hyundai, South Korea’s largest carmaker.

Automotive News Europe said the two automakers are emerging as rivals rather than partners in Asia.

Hyundai, angered by DC’s plans to build Mercedes-Benz cars in China, says it may end its alliance with DC.

“Even without a strategic alliance, Hyundai will have no problem in achieving our vision of becoming one of the top five automakers by 2010,” Hyundai Motor president Park Hwang-Ho told stock analysts at the Korea Stock Exchange.

Hyundai suspended talks on a proposed truck making venture in October, after DC announced a €1.1 billion deal with Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. to build Mercedes C- and E- class sedans in China.

Hyundai sent a high-ranking team to Beijing to protest that it had an exclusive deal with Beijing Automotive to produce cars. Hyundai executives now accept they cannot block the deal.

Hyundai said last week it was in talks “with all possibilities open” to reshape its DC alliance, possibly to transform it into a project-by-project basis.

“I think the two companies may eventually sever the alliance because they are emerging as competitors in overseas markets, rather than partners,” said Kim Sang-Ik, an auto analyst at Daishin Securities Co.

In 2000, DC paid about $US400 million for its Hyundai stake.