Saab-owner plans new court action over $3bn claim

Saab-owner plans new court action over $3bn claim

The owner of Saab, Dutch firm Spyker, plans new court action against General Motors for $3bn (£1.95bn), claiming it blocked the sale of the Swedish carmaker.

 Spyker bought Saab from GM in 2010 and kept the right to use the US carmaker’s technology to build vehicles. It wanted to sell Saab to a Chinese firm in 2011, but GM blocked it, saying the sale would forfeit that right. A judge upheld GM’s action in a previous case last year against the US giant.

Spyker’s claim has been that GM’s blocking tactics caused Saab to collapse. GM said that Spyker bought Saab knowing its financial history, pointing out that Saab had granted it a contractual right to terms which had been spelled out.

Saab eventually filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011. Final attempts to raise money from Chinese investors was blocked by GM because of the dispute over the transfer of technology.

GM first bought a 50% stake and management control of Saab in 1989, then gained full ownership in 2000. Car sales peaked at 133,000 cars in 2006, before falling to just 27,000 in 2009. GM itself sought bankruptcy protection as the global financial crisis unfolded, forcing the US company to dispose of assets.


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