Saab could have been kept from heading into the sunset by a deal with Chinese backers, but GM interfered, claims Spyker (Photo : Flickr)
Dutch carmaker Spyker announced this morning that it has filed a $3-billion lawsuit against General Motors (GM), alleging that the American car giant deliberately sabotaged its attempts to salvage the Swedish car badge Saab.
GM became a major shareholder in Saab in 1989, exercising its option to become a full owner in 2000. It did not find the Swedish icon a profitable subsidiary, however, and sold it to Spyker in 2010. Saab filed for bankruptcy on December 19, 2011.
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The suit alleges that Spyker had secured the backing of "Youngman", a Chinese investor, to keep Saab afloat, but that GM blocked the deal to keep Saab from being a competitor on the Chinese market.
Spyker's press release announcing the lawsuit inaccurately states that a copy of the complaint was attached. However, according to Reuters, the Dutch company accuses GM of reneging on a deal to continue to supply parts and build Saab's 9-4X SUV through 2014. The company's refusal to do so killed a deal with interested investors that included Zheijiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Company and Pang Da Automobile Trade Company Ltd.
In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Spyker CEO Victor R Muller said, "Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile's bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation of this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a result of GM's unlawful actions. We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done and we will pursue this lawsuit with the same tenacity and perseverance that we had when we tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile, until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy."
Reuters quoted GM spokesman James Cain as saying that the company hadn't yet seen the lawsuit, and adding, "It is hard to believe."