Spyker is suing GM for over 3 billion U.S. The Dutch sports car maker argues that GM deliberately drove Saab into bankruptcy and blocked a Chinese takeover that would have saved the company. In the complaint filed in a Michigan court
“GM never intended to allow Saab to compete with it in China,”
After Volvo, Saab was the best known Swedish brand and had a relatively small but loyal following. The company ceased production in May of 2011 when it ran out of funds to pay suppliers and also its workers. GM had bought half of Saab back in 1990 and the remainder in 2000.
Once the financial crisis hit GM sold Saab to Spyker
for a mere 74 million U.S. Spyker CEO Victor Muller said:
“We tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy,”
GM operates in China with the state-run SAIC Motor Corp. Spyker claims that GM did not want Saab models to compete with GM. Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejang Youngman Lotus Automobile had put in a bid to save Saab and continue production of Saab automobiles. Spyker
"When Saab found a way to secure liquidity and continue as a going concern with the help of Chinese investors, GM was determined to scuttle the deal by any means necessary, including the publication of false information about its rights under the parties' contracts,
GM said supplying vehicles and technology to the prospective new owners would not be in the interests of GM shareholders. As Muller
“GM’s actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy a result of GM’s interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman”
The 3 billion U.S. requested is in compensation plus interest, punitive damages, and also legal fees. The claim is also based upon what Spyker considers the deal would have been worth had if it had been completed.
A spokesperson for GM Dave Roman said the suit had no merit and that GM would defend itself vigorously against the baseless allegations made by Stryker. GM made a profit from Saab in only one of the nineteen years it was involved with the company according to GM.
The Spyker lawsuit is being funded by an anonymous third party who will share in the settlement if the suit is successful. Following the bankruptcy Swedish bankruptcy administrators chose a consortium named National Electric Vehicle Sweden to buy Saab. The sum paid was not revealed. For other coverage see this article.