Dutch sportscar maker Spyker NV is suing General Motors for more than $3bn (£1.92bn) on behalf of its subsidiary Saab, accusing the US automaker of deliberately bankrupting the Swedish group by blocking a deal with a Chinese investor.
Saab Automobile, one of Sweden's best-known brands, stopped production in May 2011 when it could no longer pay suppliers and employees. It went bust in December, less than two years after GM sold it to Spyker. GM's efforts to kill any sale were made to eliminate a potential rival in China, Spyker said.
"GM never intended to allow Saab to compete with it in China," Spyker said in its complaint, filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.
"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," Spyker added.
GM spokesman Dave Roman called the lawsuit "without merit." "We will vigorously defend the company against these baseless allegations," he said.
Spyker chief executive Victor Muller said GM "had it coming" with regard to the lawsuit.
"They never thought we would survive," he said. "Well, Spyker's still here. They assumed Spyker would end up in the graveyard with Saab, and obviously that didn't happen."
In asking for a jury trial, Spyker is seeking at least $3bn in compensatory damages, as well as interest and punitive damages, and legal fees.
City A.M. Reporter