We have had some posts to other threads concerning the lawsuit filed against Saab Parts by BMW and I was waiting for more of a story to unfold before just post BMW sues Saab as that is not much of a story. Thankfully I have found a fairly complete story on Nasdaq.
It would appear that the German car maker BMW is suing Saab Parts AB for 2.6 million euros plus interest for unpaid deliveries. The lawsuit was filed in the Swedish district court in Nykoping Monday.
Lennart Stahl, Chief Executive of Saab Automobile Parts AB, said the company has contested the claim in earlier contact with BMW’s lawyers and that it will go over the claim again. “Our lawyers will now go through the lawsuit carefully and see if anything new has been added before we decide what to do,” he said.
This all dates back to September of 2010 when Saab/SWAN and BMW entered into an agreement to supply and develop 4cyl gas engines to be used in the 9-3. The agreement also covered components and spare parts. A large number of parts and components were ordered by Saab and never paid for. Saab throughout 2011 did not have the means to pay for the outstanding bills and filed for bankruptcy in December.
The lawsuit is saying that Saab Parts is liable for the unpaid bills since Saab had declared bankruptcy.
However, Mr. Stahl doesn’t believe Saab Automobile Parts should have to pay for components ordered by Saab Automobile. “Saab Automobile Parts AB have not ordered or received any spare parts or components from BMW,” he said. “Why would a spare part company order components for a car model that’s not yet in production?”
Shares in Saab Automobile Parts AB were put up as collateral by Saab Automobile AB in exchange for state-backed guarantees for its loans in the European Investment Bank. The Swedish National Dept Office, the authority which guaranteed Saab’s loans in the EIB, has declared its intention to sell Saab Automobile Parts AB in order to collect Saab’s debt.
I am no lawyer but I think it will be a bit of a difficult battle to collect debt from Saab Parts which has now been taken over by the NDO. If you can go after Saab Parts when that is not the branch that ordered these parts, what’s to stop suppliers from doing the same thing? I do not think from what I read here that there is much of a case against Saab Parts and unfortunately for BMW they are in the same boat as many of the suppliers and I think it’s almost an insult to suppliers for them to view themselves differently. We have suppliers who have been affected in a very critical way who have lost business and employees in downsizing measures because of what happened and they are not getting special treatment so I would hope that BMW is treated in the same manner. As big a number as 2.6 million euros is, for BMW they will survive through this, for a supplier that number would kill most of them.
If I am wrong then this could be a disaster for the NDO and Saab Parts but I think that is a huge stretch to think that they can go after a company that was used as collateral like Saab Parts.