Saab and Spyker's lawsuit "seeks redress for the unlawful actions of General Motors Company to avoid competition with Saab in the Chinese market"

Saab and Spyker, the Dutch company that owned the Swedish car maker, have filed a $3bn (£1.9bn) action against General Motors. The figure is based on the projected 2016 value of Saab, three years after the planned launch of the all-new 9-3 models.

Filed at the United States District Court for Eastern Michigan, it states: "This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions of General Motors Company (GM) to avoid competition with Saab in the Chinese market. GM’s actions had the direct and intended result of driving Saab Automobile AB (Saab) into bankruptcy by tortuously interfering with a transaction with Chinese investors that would have permitted Saab to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern."

The Saab-Spyker complaint reveals that an agreement to enter into a partnership with Chinese car maker Youngman was completed on 16 December last year, just three days before Saab was due to be declared bankrupt. The agreement would have seen a ‘framework agreement’ with Youngman loaning Saab £160m, preventing Saab from being wound up. 

The loan would have been converted into equity in Saab once the 2013 9-3 (based on the new Phoenix platform) was launched and Saab discontinued the GM-based 9-3 and 9-5. 

However, Saab and Spyker’s submission to the court asserts: "Youngman was prepared to execute, and would have executed, the Framework Agreement but for GM’s false statements that its consent was somehow required under the ATLA and that, therefore, it would oppose any agreement with Youngman. On December 19, 2011, having been wrongfully deprived by GM of a means to secure further funding, Saab was forced to file for bankruptcy liquidation."

The submission adds: "GM’s intent was to kill any deal to save Saab from liquidation because GM did not want Saab to remain a going concern and enter the Chinese market as a potential competitor to its automotive products."

According to media reports, commenting on the filing, General Motors spokesman Jim Cain told Reuters: "It's hard to believe. We have no comment until we see the lawsuit."

Join the debate

Comments
21

6 August 2012

 

 

 

 

.

6 August 2012

How can SAAB and Spyker afford to pay for all of GM's legal costs when they lose this case?

7 August 2012

I agree, Saab/Spyker has no match with GM's legal department.

It's too bad, as Saab had such a great history and produced some quirky yet compelling cars with a such a big cult following. The 2011 9-5, 2012 9-4X, and PhoeniX concept showed promise and potential for things to come (though the 9-4X was based on a GM platform).

Saab sold itself to the devil and used a lot of GM's technology and engineering and unfortunately could not get itself out. 

7 August 2012

Obviously, very few people would have ever seen the agreements which are now going to be revealed in court, but my understanding was that GM always had a veto and had made it repeatedly clear to Muller & his men that a sale to Youngman was not on.

Will be interesting to follow to see what actually happened, but it's a shame that Saab's name is going to dragged down even further than it already was.

7 August 2012

Just think, this could have happened to Vauxhall/Opel as well, GM  triede and failed to sell them, they are a disgrace, I hope Saab wins..

 

7 August 2012

Knowing GM's unwillingness to release platform data to a future is all well and good. However I assume they're going ahead to test just how far this can go to demonstrate it was less the platform and more because of Youngmans nationality.

Of course GM will no doubt see it coming but would precident with Ford selling JLR to Tata for example be useful to the Saab/Spyker case?

Regardless I'd love to see the underdogs win. GM deserve a punch in the nose for their handling of all their none-US subsidiaries. The irony of course being that if that happened GM would end up selling Vauxhall/Opel to a Chinese firm to pay the bills!

7 August 2012

Without obviously knowing the facts this sadly seems like another case of trying to get money from the slot-machine that is the U.S. legal system which like most slots rarely pays up and just keeps your money.

7 August 2012

From what I've witnessed of this sorry case was that Victor Muller was trying to sell something that he didn't own, the SAAB / GM platform, to a Chinese company.   GM already sell the knowledge (IP) to another Chinese company so would have to block any move for Muller to give it away cheaply.

Ultimately it's really Muller's fault that SAAB doesn't exist any longer, not GM.   Spyker took over SAAB and made a complete balls up of running the company.   Either through naivety of thinking a small company could run something as large as SAAB or just basic incompetance.

However, even the legal case is unbelievable.   He's trying to sue for what the company *might* have been worth.   Yet that would only be if he had sold it on, so he wouldn't have any right to that valuation in the first place!

We have asylums for people like Victor Muller.

 

7 August 2012

There's more qualified people than I to answer this question.

But lets go back a few year to when Saab got into bed with GM.

What was Saab's management thinking then?, what is the point of sharing a few platforms to build your own very different car? 

Did they think that they were interested in anything other than their own bottom line & profits?

SOLD OUT before Spyker if you ask me.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

7 August 2012

Strange that Volvo was sold to the Chinese, no problem. I think SAAB have a very strong case. Apparently there's an unamed third party funding all the legal action. But at the end of the day SAAB tried to compete withe likes of BMW and Mercedes, and was doomed to failure.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq