Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker N.V. is suing General Motors for an astonishing $3 billion dollars, on the grounds that the U.S. automaker stymied Spyker's sale of its Swedish subsidiary, Saab Automobile, to Chinese investor Youngman Auto. The suit alleges that G.M. purposefully hindered the Spyker/Saab/Youngman deal to protect the company's own interests in the lucrative Chinese automobile market, now the world's largest. Saab's eventual collapse and bankruptcy in December, 2011, came after months of financial wrangling in which Victor Muller, Spyker's Chief Executive Officer, sought to save the struggling Saab brand by courting Middle Eastern investors, Russian tycoons, and lesser-known Chinese auto companies such as Pang Da Automobile and Youngman.
"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," said Victor Muller, in the press release announcing the legal action. "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 was filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan. Interestingly, the same press release states that Spyker "secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor." It remains unclear as to who was inclined to infuse Spyker and the Saab brand with enough cash to take a legal fight to G.M. The mysterious third party will apparently share in the profits of the lawsuit, according to a .
Until its surprise purchase of Saab from G.M. in January 2010, Spyker was best known for building extremely limited runs of audacious-looking sports cars, such as the C8 Spyder and C8 Laviolette. The company also had a brief flirtation with Formula One racing, though the unsuccessful endeavor lasted only for the 2007 season before it was sold. Many wondered how a company of Spyker's size would adapt to running a much larger outfit like Saab which, in 2009, [link href='http://www.saabsunited.com/2011/01/saab-global-sales-2010.html' link_updater_label='external' target='_blank']reported global salesof 31,696 cars. The most recent attempt at reviving the storied Swedish brand involved turning Saab into an entirely electric automaker led by a Japanese-Chinese EV start-up firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB. Sales of an electrified 9-3 sedan were supposedly to start in China within 1-2 years.