Luxury sports car maker, Spyker, has filed a lawsuit against General Motors accusing them of deliberately bankrupting Saab by blocking deals with foreign investors. When Spyker bought Saab from GM in 2010, the agreement allowed GM to retain the rights to technology and patents used in the engineering of Saab vehicles. As Saab struggled to avoid a court action to liquidate the company, Chinese automakers, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da Automobile Trade came forward with $140 million dollars to invest in the company with an expected additional investment of up to $708 million to build Saab vehicles in Sweden’s Trollhattan plant as well as open a factory in China. According to Spyker, the deal was blocked by GM executives because they did not want Chinese investors to have access to GM technology, allowing them to compete against the U.S. auto maker in China, one of its most important foreign markets. Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller accused GM of “deliberately pushing Saab over the cliff”. Spyker is seeking $3 billion in damages, the estimated future value of Saab if Zhejiang Youngman had been allowed to buy the Swedish auto maker and invest in it.
The lawsuit comes as GM struggles to survive in Europe. The auto maker said last week that its second-quarter earnings plunged 38% due to a $361 million loss in the company’s European operations.