Spyker NV (SWAN), the Dutch owner of the Saab brand of cars, sued General Motors Co. (GM:US) in the U.S. for $3 billion over claims it sought to drive the company into bankruptcy by avoiding competition in the Chinese market.
GM’s actions had the “direct and intended objective” of forcing Saab into bankruptcy in December, Spyker said in a statement today. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Detroit, where GM is based.
The complaint accuses GM of “interfering with a transaction with Chinese investors that would have permitted Saab to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern.”
Saab hasn’t built cars since last year and filed for bankruptcy in December. Saab has been unprofitable for most of two decades, and GM, which acquired full control of the manufacturer in 2000, sold it in February 2010 to Spyker.
“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,” Spyker Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller said in the statement.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial, “no less than $3 billion” in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.
“We’ll review the complaint and respond appropriately and in due course,” Jim Cain, a GM spokesman, said today in an e- mail.
The case is Saab Automobile v. General Motors Co., 12-13432-LPZ-MJH, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).
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