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SPYKER files a $3 BN Lawsuit against GM

August 6, 2012 in News

SPYKER FILES A THREE BILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT AGAINST GENERAL MOTORS

Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 6 August 2012 — Spyker N.V. (“Spyker”) announced that it has filed a complaint against General Motors Company (“GM”) in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan today at 08.00 AM EST. Spyker filed the complaint in its own right and on behalf of its 100 percent subsidiary Saab Automobile A.B., which was declared bankrupt on December 19, 2011.

This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market. GM™ actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM’s tortiously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern. The monetary value of the claim amounts to US$ 3 billion (three billion US dollars).

Since Saab Automobile is in receivership and hence incapable to contribute to the costs of litigation, Spyker and Saab Automobile have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Spyker will bear the costs of such litigation in exchange for a very substantial share of Saab Automobile’s award when the proceedings are successful. Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor.

Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s Chief Executive Officer 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 for 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.”

The Complaint, as filed this morning at 08.00 EST, is attached to this Press Release.

75 responses to SPYKER files a $3 BN Lawsuit against GM

  1. YES!!!!!!! Best of luck!!!

  2. Please God, let Spyker win this lawsuit. If nothing else, let the bad publicity further cripple the demons at General Motors.

    • +1,000,000,000 or should I say + 3 billion!

      • Ok, now that I got that out of my system, didnt GM simply exercise their clause (board vote)? Saab knew this voting structure from day one and also knew that any sale of the company would need to pass GM scrutiny first.

        Plus, this case will be held in SE Michigan (GM’s backyard), try finding someone who’s impartial…good luck.

        • Check out the newer post for the rationale behind this lawsuit. Tim R did a nice job of explaining it. Regarding getting a fair hearing in SE Michigan—-Pattie, you might be surprised, but GM has a good many enemies very close to home. They offend people wherever they are, including at home. It might even be argued that Detroit knows GM better than anywhere else—-and a change of venue would HELP GM because of how the locals are so familar with GM arrogance and failure.

    • +3 billion as dcpattie said!

  3. This is good, interesting news. Go team Spyker!

  4. Fully behind such a move, but who will benefit from the action? NEVS, Saab suppliers, the administrators? Confused as to where any proceeds would e applied.

    • Mostly Spyker.

      “Since Saab Automobile is in receivership and hence incapable to contribute to the costs of litigation, Spyker and Saab Automobile have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Spyker will bear the costs of such litigation in exchange for a very substantial share of Saab Automobile’s award when the proceedings are successful. Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor.”

      Personally I welcome this lawsuit. A victory here will be a moral one and well deserved IMO.

    • And of Spyker’s potential “winnings” , a large chunk of that would go the 3rd party investor. Given the ’3rd party investor’ clearly wasnt harmed directly by the bankrupcy, his/their involvement is simply as a money making exercise; a bet, for their own gain. Any monetary benefit to Saab you can assured will be chump change.

      Regardless of where you think the the morality in this claim is, the increasing propensity of rich investors , deciding to “invest” in court cases , meaning the courts simply become another form of a stock market, and then scoop the lions share of the proceeds on the outcome of a court case when they were not the wronged party, is generally going to be bad for society as a whole, in the long run.

      We have seen that increasingly in the states, in all sorts of fields, and it invariably preys on the weak.

      • I don’t disagree with you—-but it’s also true that regardless of who collects any possible award—-the fact that there will be punitive action against the ghouls at General Motors is all I need to be happy. GM needs to pay in some way for what they did. I remember at the time of the bankruptcy, making a very similar case to the one brought against them—-and having people here tell me a lawsuit couldn’t be brought against them because they did nothing wrong. Fact is—-GM might not even lose (personally, I think they will settle out of court). But this proves that there are legitimate questions they need to answer for. I was astounded that people didn’t see the possibility of them being sued over this.

        • How about this. They settle by giving licenses to manufacturer NG 9-3 Griffin, NG 9-5 SS/SC and 9-4X for a fair price. Warranty by GM should be included. Then Spyker/Saab manufacturers petrol, diesel and hybrid cars side by side to NEVS EV’s in Trollhättan or license the right to someone who can do it if NEVS don’t want/are allowed to manufacture combustion powered vehicles.

      • The way GM behaved (in Saab’s case as well as in general) has most assuredly been bad for society as a whole.

        Now, hopefully, there will be some repercussions for GM. Hopefully the interest of other investors dealing with huge corporations will be served by this (and thus benefit our society as a whole).

        There is another factor to this: GM is, if I am not mistaken, one of the bigger creditors in this bankruptcy. Keeping the fruits of this court case away from what remains of Saab will also keep this money away from GM. I definitively do not want to see GM gain anything from this situation.

      • The legal world resolves around ‘No win, No Fee claims….

      • Probably not. This is called champerty (investing in the outcome of a case) and is highly frowned on in the law. In most states it is both illegal and unethical.

  5. Yes!!! Yes!!! Go Go Go!!!
    Beat GM!!

  6. A new Roller Coaster

  7. I hope they win, and can collaborate with NEVS. I salute you Mr Muller!

  8. Waoo!! This is HUGE!!! What a brave movement from Victor Muller! I really hope that this will end up positive in the court but I have my worries whether it will be successful.
    GM have done everything to stop SAAB from surviving just to protect their own interests so far.
    If this lawsuit is realized and Spyker gets the 3Bn, then i believe Victor will try and buy SAAB back from NEVS or make an agreement to collaborate and produce a car with them.
    Let’s keep fingers crossed and hope for the best outcome!

  9. “Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor”
    Who could be that third party investor? Youngman? Another Chinese company?

  10. Good to see that VM has some fighting spirit left :)

    I don’t think he will win this but who knows, good luck!

    Does anyone have a clue on how long it will take before there is a ruling in this case? Six months, one year, or 5 years?

  11. Good luck to Spyker and VM. I hope it is good for Saab, but I can’t see how NEVS should benefit from this as it concerns events that took place well before NEVS even made any bids on Saab. If anyone else has a claim against GM, it would be Youngman and Pang Da who lost money because of GM’s recalcitrance in not letting Saab either be assisted or sold.

  12. I just wish there was something that I could do to support VM in this battle.

    • Maybe we can all work on that one?

      • I strongly agree to that. Instead of waiting and “hoping everything turns out alright in the end” we, as the SAAB community should take action in supporting VM. We have all been terribly wronged by GM and now there is a chance for justice! I have no ideas of what to do thus far, but we should all brainstorm; maybe another convoy? I see some of us have concerns as to where the money will go, but I see the exposure of GM deliberately running an iconic car company into the ground good enough. It makes everyone wonder what other shady things GM has done.

        So, anyone have any ideas???

        • “A Boycott. GM” Campaign! Start on Facebook, just be civil and intelligent, as all SAAB owners are. Tell the News outlets, and do it with the verocity with which everyone did in The Save SAAB campaign.

          • Unfortunately Facebook can be a very bitchy place and GM fans will always take things personally. Might I suggest a “Support Spyker in the fight” campaign instead of a GM boycott?

            I think if every Saab owner or former owner could contribute at least $1 dollar for every Saab he/she owns or has owned, it would amount to a sizable amount towards legal costs. If we publicly declare our support in this way rather than just taking the a pure anti GM stance, the results would be much more positive.

            I still firmly believe that GM wanted to close Saab in 2009 and the weight of many thousands of upset Saab fans worldwide showing their support for Saab, certainly contributed to GM deciding to sell rather than close Saab. I think GM needs to feel the weight of those fans once again.

    • You can always buy shares in Spyker on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. :)

      I see this as a very brave move by Spyker, and I sincerely hope that they will succeed! :D

  13. Question, will this help Saab?

  14. I hope Justus prevails GM is evil for what it did to SAAB.

    • GM is evil for what it did to SAAB.

      Not quite. GM is evil for a number of reasons; their treatment of SAAB is merely a symptom.

      There are numerous problems which plague the 9-3 which is directly attributable to GM bean counters: the interior coatings are crap (off-the-shelf plasti-dip lasts longer!), the key fobs deteriorate, the body panels are too thin (first car I’ve had which could be dented by acorns!!), the washer nozzles that fall apart, and of course that notoriously unreliable heater motor resistor. Let’s not forget the 2.0T which in GM’s vehicles put out what, 260hp-270hp+, and the 2.8T which in GM’s offerings put out over 300hp (rated 295hp to 325hp) but both were severely detuned in SAAB offerings. We should be thankful that SAAB managed what they did on their shoestring budget, because GM just wanted them to slap the Griffin logo on Opels and call it a day. Although the SAAB sedans are built on an Opel frame, you can’t tell by looking that they bear familial history with the Opels.

      The problem is GM is shortsighted, looking at quarter-to-quarter results rather than focusing on 5-10 years into the future. If a subsidiary wants to improve interior materials or go with other than the lowest bidder on certain components for quality components to make vehicles last, unless the vehicle is Corvette or a Cadillac, the bean counters nix it. This affects accessories, pinswitches, paint, and interior materials (hence, the peeling rubberized interior coating that could have been fixed by spending a few more cents for a better coating on each 9-3). Their idea of customer service is to urinate on the customer and call it a golden shower – and they treat Corvette customers the same as Cobalt and Cruze customers (don’t get me wrong; there are some fantastic Chevrolet and Cadillac dealers out there but they are few and far between).

      In the end though, they are doing what shareholders want: to boost quarterly results through immediate actions (whether it’s closing a plant and firing 15,000 workers, or choosing crappy suppliers for cheap components, industrial coatings/paint, etc.) and using the stock as a get-rich-quick scheme rather than truly investing and focusing on HUGE results 5-10 years down the line, even though losses may be incurred in the short term (1Q to 3 yrs).

      That, in turn, is due to the root problem which is directly attributable to American culture since the late ’80s; outsource everything offshore, do everything you can to lower cost (which in GM’s case means dumping ZF transmissions in your halo car in favor of a cheap Mexican-made transmission which is known to gall and melt when the car is driven as intended on the track or in a sanctioned ORR, or to not fix delaminating windshields in the flagship car, resulting in owners’ clubs privately contracting production runs of the windshield using the corrected process), and advertise based on a reputation of “Made in the USA” earned decades ago but is hardly true, with the “domestic” cars being made in Mexico and Canada using cheap parts from China. In other words, if you can do it cheaper for a fast buck, and hell with the future, let’s do it! That’s modern America for you. The American Dream that our ancestors immigrated here for no longer exists.

      • There’s still some American spirit out there—-small companies like Rada Knives or Diamond Gusset Blue Jeans (check their websites) using quality materials, making their goods in the USA and selling them at affordable prices. But I totally get your point about GM. And make no mistake about it—-among U.S. domestic car makers, GM is by far the worst on every count you mentioned. Ford actually seems to have pride in what they do—and Fiat has improved the things that Chrysler is doing.

        • I agree.

          I rented a 2012 Ford Escape (which actually had a turbo-charged engine). It was no 9-4X but it was obvious that Ford put some pride in building it. Just last year, on the other hand, I rented a Chevy Traverse. That thing was like driving a boat on the highway. And the construction was pretty bad. I was curious and wanted to take a look at the engine … when I tried to open the hood, it was very unstable and a piece of plastic came loose. I was afraid if I kept trying to open I would break something – so I stopped.

          Then I noticed the cheap-looking plastic surrounding the steering-column started to come loose. Seeing this kind of unacceptable construction, I’m relieved that this level of incompetence didn’t make it’s way into my 9-3′s interior .. our friends in Trollhättan would not have allowed it.

      • Kimberly, I think your post is very interesting and very funny, but I see things a little differently.

        First of all, **** GM and Go Victor. Right, now that’s out of the way…

        The 9-3ss and wagon are not built on an Opel frame. I admit I am touchy about this because I am the proud owner of a 9-3ss, but please hear me out. The 9-3ss/w and the latest and greatest Vectra (the one before the Insignia) share a platform, Epsilon, that Saab co-designed with Opel, and then developed further along their own lines. A 9-3ss or wagon is not an Opel any more than a 99 with a Triumph engine in it is a Triumph. (Albeit, it is with a small ‘t’ !) Saab fans like you don’t need to peddle propaganda that people who knock Saab do so well all by themselves. And the point about this is that, as I think I have learned from reading Tim’s stuff, Saab spent a lot of money making Epsilon and the 9-3 their own way, and GM didn’t like that, but it is one of the reasons why the 9-3ss handles beautifully.

        Right, build quality. Let’s see … Apart from the coating of some of the switchgear in the cabin, which you are right is woeful, the built quality of the 9-3 in my experience is really rather good. I have had mine for 5 years, it has covered 150,000 miles and apart from that pesky plastic coating, which it has to be said does feel nice before it peels off, all is well. I agree with you also that the key fobs do disintegrate, and again that is down to soft plastic that is more akin to chocolate. The bodywork on the 9-3 is very robust, with the sole exception of the wing-mirror mounts, which do bubble and corrode and go horribly light if you don’t keep them blacked up. But look at a 5-year-old BMW 3-series and you will see they suffer from the same problem.

        This idea that “foreign” parts and manufacturing – meaning things made in Latin America, Asia or Africa – are necessarily and inherently of inferior quality leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth, and is not borne out by reality. The most reliable cars in the world are made in Japan, for instance, and have been for decades. Loads of quality manufactures these days use components made in China. However, I think the point you are making about the American Dream, and American workers, being undermined by self-serving corporations outsourcing work because it is cheaper is a good one.

        I would also contend that this idea that built quality was soooo much better back in the day does not bear close scrutiny. In the old c900s, for instance, the headlining became saggy, and I have seen it for myself several times, and could eventually fall in completely. The transmissions were prone to failure in some cases and the steering rack could become horribly loose and vague as well, and I certainly have had experience of that! …. so in many respects a GM-era 9-3 sportsaloon or wagon is a better-built car and seems to last far longer on the road without developing any rust. And before anyone gets the wrong idea, for me the 99 and c900 are the royalty of Saabs. I am not knocking these classic Saabs, which are precisely the cars that made me fall in love with Saab in the first place, just trying to offer a bit of perspective.

        Anyway, I like your post, you have an interesting take on things, and once again TO HELL WITH GM!

  15. Another fully funded business plan, wow.

    • ouch (but somewhat deserved).

      I like VM personally, however, much of Saab’s failure lands at this feet. Government of Sweden offered no help, which, if they had back in Spring 2011 then maybe Saab could have made it to the Phoenix and 9-5 SC.

      I think with the right stakeholders to (1) provide funding and (2) keep VM on track, Saab could-have-been something special with the 2010 relaunch.

  16. So, did anyone already read the full deposition? Oh and SU, do you have the Exhibits in digital format as well?

  17. Great, hope Spyker is successful in this! It will be a pyrrhic victory at this point, but GM desperately needs to be bitch-slapped for its conduct in this affair.

  18. I will wish Victor, Spyker and Saab all the best of luck in this case of justice!!! :-)
    For sure all tenacity will be needed, though…

  19. Jesus,

    My jaw just dropped at the floor right now….
    What does this mean for the old Saab and it´s suppliers. Anything at all or nothing at all?
    Anyway. I hope this works out for VM & Spyker.

  20. The only good thing for us, I guess, that a court process will shine some light on what really happened there in the end. All the (free-)wheeling and dealing..
    It’s too late to save Saab now, but what we all want to know if there at one time really was a chance the resurrection would be successful, or if there never was any chance at all, because of GM:s attitude, or because there never was enough funding capital in the first place.

  21. Well Victor is an attorney by trade, so obviously he’s not going to file a lawsuit against GM without having a solid expectation of a favorable judgment.

    Ultimately, I see an out of court settlement. I think GM would rather pay a handsome settlement and squash this before it becomes any more than the nuisance it currently is.

    Its David vs Goliate for sure. We’ll see what kind of media attention it creates.

  22. V Mueller is a lawyer, after all.

  23. I couldn’t resist reading the complaint. What a blast from the past! As an aside, the years they referenced for th 9-5 in production was off. The complaint stated it started in 2003 instead of 1998.

    Aside from revisiting recent history, the narrative revealed the specifics of the agreement regarding the need for GM approval for manufacturing “licensed vehicles” in China. Now we more fully understand the scope and why the last two deals were structured as they were (as we surmised at the time).

    A court victory or a settlement would be some vindication for Victor since he was working the deals to the very end. Would Saab have survived if the last deal was allowed to go through and approved by the court? They certainly would have lived to die another day! And, if Saab didn’t have to enter bankruptcy, that final disruption to suppliers, dealers and customers didn’t have to happen and a second comeback would have been more feasible.

  24. FINALLY!

    A lawsuit with merit.

  25. Yes! This is truly the end of the argument about “who ended Saab”. Victor was too busy to say it on his own during the bankruptcy. GM was responsible for the demise of Saab. Don’t be spineless, people!

  26. Did you all hear the Chevrolet’s deal with Manchester United was $500,000,000 for shirt sponsorship?
    GM obviously have no idea about sensible use of money……..

    • It’s hilarious, considering they pulled out of Super Bowl advertising and Facebook advertising. They take billions from U.S. taxpayers—then they “outsource” their advertising budget to England. It’s truly unbelievable, the size of the stones these people at GM have.

  27. I hope Victor wins this one. He kind of deserves it after what he and the company went through. If not, I hope this at least will be really, really annoying and embarrassing for GM.

  28. Go for it while both companies, Spyker and Saab Automobile, deserve this.
    VM follows again the leading phrase ; ” Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via”.
    Wish them all the success.

  29. GM wouldnt even be around if it werent for the US and Canadian governments. As long as GM gets a lot of bad press because of this then I’ll be happy. Anything else on top would be ‘gravy’. Go Victor. :)

  30. It has been widely reported that Spyker has never made any money in the car business. If this litigation is successful Spyker may report a profit for a change. Conspiracy theorists at GM must be thinking that this was Spyker’s plan in the first place, especially if there is Russian involvement.

    • What you make here as a statement has in fact nothing to do with the filing of this lawsuit.
      Plans were to keep Saab alive and that is what GM did kill.

  31. I come back from holiday and I read this great news…………

    Griffin Up !!!

    FUGM!!!

  32. Go Get GM! Would love to see GM pay for their callous treatment of SAAB and preventing SAAB from moving forward with it’s business plan. Make them Pay!

  33. Could anyone send me all the complaint files, specially those attachement of the complaint, Exhibit A (Master Agreement), B (ATLA agreement) ,C (Framwork) and D? thanks a lot.

  34. I once brought a bank vice president to small claims court for giving me the wrong final balance on a checking account I closed.. they then charged me an overdraft fee. I did not win but I sure felt good about it. This may be the same result for Spyker – but they are in the right in my mind.

  35. I have a very ironic story. On Sunday, I actually got to see a Spyker C8 and good grief it was gorgeous, they day after they sue GM… On Saab’s behalf? …And I got one for free in Forza 4 :P

    That is just crazy!

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