William Maley

SAAB News: Not This Again: Spyker Sues GM Over Saab Sale

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William Maley    404

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 6, 2012

Former Saab owner Spyker has filled a $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors for its actions of blocking the sale of Saab to Chinese automotive firm, Youngman Automotive.

"This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market," Spyker said in a statement.

"GM's 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."

"It is hard to believe. We have no comment until we see the lawsuit," GM Spokesman James Cain told Reuters.

GM might not have seen the lawsuit, but we have. The suit filled in U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Michigan alleges that GM prevented the reorganization of Saab even after agreements were put in place that no GM technology went to Saab's Chinese partners. Saab's Phoenix platform, which was developed separately from GM, was going to be sold to China. The lawsuit further alleges that GM even torpedoed an 11th hour agreement that would have prevented any near term participation of Youngman until after Saab's use of GM technology had passed.

Source: Reuters

Spyker's Statement and Filing is on Page 2

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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's 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.

Click here to view the article

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regfootball    248

Spyker! Spyker! Spyker! Spyker!

Looks like I picked the wrong week to file bankruptcy.

Edited by Oldsmoboi
Can't hotlink to that picture apparently.
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dfelt    1,858

I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

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Drew Dowdell    5,135

I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

That is the whole thrust of the lawsuit. Spyker alleges that the deal with Youngman was structured in such a way that GM no longer had the right to interfere.

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Turbojett    103

honestly, they both need to grow up. this is old hat. somebody--whoever ends up with Saab--needs to just liquidate them and be done with it. I think that unfortunately, Saab is long past saving. not exactly the best scenario, but it's proably best for everybody. what else can be done, honestly? It seems as though Saab has changed hands--or almost changed hands-- so many times, it's hard to keep track. and every next owner knows that if they try to save it, Saab is just going to drag them down with it.

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I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

Agree with you there, sir!

In the olden days when GM had a lot of money and power, they would have squashed Spyker like a bug.

Hopefully, they do so now....

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It would have been very nice if GM in its entirety had been allowed to die. In reality, this suit seems reasonable. GM is focusing only on the Chinese market at this time as this is where their profits are being made. Their American cars, with the exception of a few buicks that are Opel clones, are junk. The Volt is a joke that is being propped up by government purchases and loss-leading leases. They can not run Opel because their attitude about giving the customer the lowest quality product they will accept has made their vehicles less desirable than those made by the VW group companies. Ford is doing a good job, they have quality, competitive products, both here and abroad, they treated Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover well when they were sold, and they are pushing forward. GM used threats and the media to squash Saab's deal with the Chinese that was perfectly within the bounds of their technology licensing agreements with GM. GM, apparently, even threatened to stop producing the SUV made for Saab in their plant under contract.

This entire issue is even more absurd when one considers that GM has very little technology worth stealing. GM's technology is dated, it is not an innovative company, it is simply a dinosaur run by dinosaurs who still have the misguided belief that the American car industry, and the country as a whole, is a leader and on top.

I had to laugh. In a conversation with friends recently, no-one had owned a GM vehicle. No-one had friends that had GM vehicles. Several had distant family members in the midwest that still drove GM cars, but the family members were old, and being from the midwest, conservative and backwards thinking. Many had Hondas and Toyotas, a few had Fords, there were a few Jeeps, many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo drivers, a few Saabs, but nothing from GM. The opinions of the group were that Cadillacs were tacky and driven by old people, drug dealers and people striving to attract attention to themselves. Buicks were for middle class people who were disappointed with their lives and needed tacky chrome trim to show that they were not poor, and Chevrolets were rental cars. police cars, and a brand favored by white trash. The trucks and SUVs were for tradesmen, people with large families (Suburban) and rednecks. GM had lost any credibility with successful people from 25-45. The subject of the Volt brought a chuckle. The typical response was "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?"

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Z-06    493

I guess Victor Muller is shooting a shotgun with a 6-inch barrell on Cheers and Gears?

The Question like - "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?" makes your enlightened statmement as ignorant as the GM owners you are ranting about. Oh does Prius not have any subsidy from government both US and Japanese?

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I guess Victor Muller is shooting a shotgun with a 6-inch barrell on Cheers and Gears?

The Question like - "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?" makes your enlightened statmement as ignorant as the GM owners you are ranting about. Oh and I guess Prius does not have any subsidy from government both US and Japanese?

Someone is trolling...wonder if it's smk's alter ego...

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Z-06    493

Honestly, Victor Muller should be nullified by GM. Court should call the $3B lawsuit as frivolous and throw it out of the window. When SAAB was worth less than tenth of the price how can he claim that much money? We need to see GM's side. I hope Ackerson and company knew what they were doing when they made those calls for denying the takeover.

And whoever his financial backers are, they just like before, will lose money of their shirts and skirts.

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Drew Dowdell    5,135

many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo drivers, a few Saabs, but nothing from GM. The opinions of the group were that Cadillacs were tacky and driven by old people, drug dealers and people striving to attract attention to themselves. Buicks were for middle class people who were disappointed with their lives and needed tacky chrome trim to show that they were not poor, and Chevrolets were rental cars. police cars, and a brand favored by white trash. The trucks and SUVs were for tradesmen, people with large families (Suburban) and rednecks. GM had lost any credibility with successful people from 25-45. The subject of the Volt brought a chuckle. The typical response was "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?"

"A few Saabs but nothing from GM".... uh.. what? Unless they're driving a 25+ year old Saab, they're driving something from GM.

but, your anecdotal evidence from inside your bubble is just that.

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In my demographic bubble of people I know personally IRL (well-educated people 25-45 working in the software industry, primarily developers, a few management types) in the Phoenix and Denver metro areas, I know very few GM owners...for mainstream brands, most have Honda, Toyota, some Nissan, VW, and Hyundai products, and for premium brands, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and Volvo..a few Jeep owners.

I do personally know very few people out of this sample that are GM owners--one couple has a TrailBlazer and a Rendezvous, the other has his-and-hers Escalades (a regular one and an EXT--they previously had a BMW X5 and a Merc ML), another guy has a 4th gen Camaro Z-28 convertible and a Silverado, another has a '69 Chevelle and is looking at buying a new Camaro 1LE.

Anecdotal, to be sure, but troubling considering the preponderance of Camrys, Civics, Corollas, and Priuses in my circle of friends and colleagues.

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Z-06    493

Moltar,

GM's problem is perception. The person above gives a good cross-section of ignorance that GM has to deal with. Honestly critics like these need to be taken with heart by GM and worked on. That is where marketing should be effective and concentrated. GM is not doing a good job with marketing.

With his token we can say the same about the brands his cohorts own.

Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

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Moltar,

Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

Those are stereotypes also, though....I know some DB BMW/MB/Audi owners, but most I know are good people..hard working tech professionals..same w/ the Prius drivers.

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Z-06    493

Moltar,

Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

Those are stereotypes also, though....I know some DB BMW/MB/Audi owners, but most I know are good people..hard working tech professionals..same w/ the Prius drivers.

I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

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Drew Dowdell    5,135

In my demographic bubble of people I know personally IRL (well-educated people 25-45 working in the software industry, primarily developers, a few management types) in the Phoenix and Denver metro areas, I know very few GM owners...for mainstream brands, most have Honda, Toyota, some Nissan, VW, and Hyundai products, and for premium brands, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and Volvo..a few Jeep owners.

I do personally know very few people out of this sample that are GM owners--one couple has a TrailBlazer and a Rendezvous, the other has his-and-hers Escalades (a regular one and an EXT--they previously had a BMW X5 and a Merc ML), another guy has a 4th gen Camaro Z-28 convertible and a Silverado, another has a '69 Chevelle and is looking at buying a new Camaro 1LE.

Anecdotal, to be sure, but troubling considering the preponderance of Camrys, Civics, Corollas, and Priuses in my circle of friends and colleagues.

def more domestically oriented around me at work. One Mini-Cooper (that is turning into a reliability nightmare) and the rest domestics. My boss in Houston just bought a CTS over the weekend.

Off the top of my head the people who sit closest to me:

LeSabre

Mustang/Focus Hatch

Mini Cooper

Commander (on their second one)

Durango

Harley Davidson

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In my current company (which is a consulting company w/ only 12 people):

Grand Cherokee ('00) (moi)

Grand Cherokee ('02) and current-gen Chevy Tahoe (sales VP)

VW CC (my boss/CEO)

Acura TL (current gen, co-CEO)

VW Jetta (1997 or so)

Honda Civic hybrid

Honda Civic (2003 or so)

Hyundai Sonata (previous gen)

Toyota Tacoma (this guy also has a Cessna and '71 Chevelle project car)

Toyota Prius

Honda Accord (about a 2000 or so)

VW Golf GTI and Mercedes Sprinter camper

This company has a much lower percentage of Toyotas that other larger places I've worked over the last 15 years...

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"GM's problem is perception. The person above gives a good cross-section of ignorance that GM has to deal with. Honestly critics like these need to be taken with heart by GM and worked on. That is where marketing should be effective and concentrated. GM is not doing a good job with marketing."

It has little to do with marketing and more to do with product.

How about simply making appealing products that don't feel and look cheap, and don't feature over-the-top styling and lackluster fit and finish? I have no animosity towards American cars, or any particular love for many of the foreign brands, but I know that every vehicle from GM's core group of vehicles that I have driven or ridden in has been a disappointment on many levels. Some had good engines, some had good styling, some had ok interiors, rarely did they posses all three things. Some examples are below:

Rentals:

Chevy Malibu: OK styling, wheezing engine, cheap plastics inside. An Accord is so much better it is amazing!

Camaro: OK styling, cheap interior, decent engine (the V6-the V8 is fun but old-fashioned)

Cadillac DTS: Cheap Cheap Cheap interior, poor ride quality, engine sounded like a powerboat,

Chevrolet Traverse: Nice styling, nice interior with the exception of many plastic details that were cheap, storage compartments whose latches did not work, poor alignment of panels, and fabric that felt as though it came off a dead mouse. Reasonably smooth engine. Why would a person buy this over a Pilot or Highlander??

GM vehicles test driven while shopping for recent car purchases.

Buick LaCrosse-Excellent styling with the exception of the excessive plasticized chrome (which was rough and uneven on the edge of many surfaces. Good engine, nice interior with too much bling. Cheap fake wood, shiny surfaces that reflected off the windshield. It wants to compete with Acura and Lexus, it even comes close, but it is so far away in the details.

Cadillac SRX: TOO MUCH CHROME ON THE INSIDE. 3.6 engine lacked oomph and sounded rough, instruments difficult to read. many squeaks and rattles. Audi Q5, Lexus RX do it better for the same money. Electronics in the Cadillac were also about 5 years out of date.

GMs halo cars are cheap and fun. The corvette handles well, has lots of power and is inexpensive compared with its rivals. It may have leather that came from a plastic factory and fit and finish that leaves much to be desired, but it is fun and can be a reachable dream for an average person. It is not as well made as a Porsche, but it is viable and a good mid-life crisis car for Joe the Plumber.

The Camaro is much the same-good cheap fun. Not something you would want to drive everyday, filled with antique engines and engineering, a throwback to the late 60s, but great at doing smoky burnouts on deserted country roads. It doesn't have to compete with anything other than the Chrysler and Ford equivalents because they are the only cars occupying this class.

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I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.

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Drew Dowdell    5,135

The reason to buy a Traverse over a highlander or pilot is room room room without any sacrifice in fuel economy or power.

There is nothing "ancient" about the Camaro V8. If you're talking about it not having DOHC, DOHC has been around longer than pushrod/ohv.

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Z-06    493

So a Toyota Corrolla with a 4-speed automatic transmission and no platform update since 2003 is a complete package?

The mahogany-tinted high-gloss wood looks like it came from a downmarket furniture store, and what's with the old Mercedes-style shift gate for the shift lever? And we nearly called an anthropologist when we spied the ES 350's cassette tape player. Sure, Lexus drivers are known enthusiasts of books on tape, but does Mark Levinson know it's still there?

That is the high quality and completely packaged Lexus for you.

Or Honda with its 5-speed transmission, no direct injection engines and design that will put GM's 90s design blandness to shame is a complete package? The quality of my 2005 TSX is better than the new TSX. But yes, they are cars that people buy.

How about the howlers from Nissan - Sentra and Versa. Are they complete packages as well?

BMW's fit and finish is nothing short of glaringly deficient. The plastics of my 2005 BMW 330i are terrible, the upholstery is peeling off, leather is blemished. The TSX and my 98 Lumina look better in shape than the BMW. The car has had electrical gremlins and also seen all its windows motors replaced. That is indeed a quality product! Have you heard of BMW's HFPF problem? The F30 has no design theme, the plastics look cheap and the interior is virtually unchanged since 1990s. At least Bangle had balls to be creative and polarizing.

And as for the Corvette and the stereotypes you are adding to the car - the ignorance is similar to the one in your comment about Prius and Volts. Yes Porsche may put clubbed baby seal leather in its anemic 320 odd hp Boxter S but then it clubs the customer $85k for that car. For half that price you can get the 370Z and club the Boxter if you are willing to forget the 85% quality at 105% performance. If I was shelling $200k on a Panamera Turbo S, I will expect the car to have clubbed baby Panda leather sewn by Matthias Muller with his own hands.

I still stand by my statement that GM lacks in perception game that Japanese and Germans have mastered and now Koreans are mastering. The GM products except for a few are vastly better than the perception you have. Is there a room for improvement? Sure, but they are not howlers as you claim to be.

I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.

Neither was I. What I mentioned about those brands also came casually in a lively conversation with informed automobile enthusiasts.

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      “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,” emphasized PSA Chairman of the board Carlos Tavares. “We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.” The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets.
      As already assured when the contract was signed in March, all employee codetermination rights will remain unchanged.
      The Opel/Vauxhall management team will work on a plan for the future in the next 100 days. “We are eager to build the plan with PSA’s support and obviously together with our partners from the Works Council and the unions,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. Synergies within the Groupe PSA, for example in purchasing and development, are set to play a major part. The combined entity will unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D estimated at €1.7 Bn at run rate. The goal is to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026.
      Today’s start of a new era is accompanied by some important leadership changes. “I am happy to announce that four new members will join my management team,” said CEO Lohscheller:
      Christian Müller, previously Vice President Global Propulsion Systems – Europe and with Opel since 1996, will succeed William F. Bertagni as Vice President Engineering. He will integrate engineering and powertrain in one department. Rémi Girardon, previously Senior Vice President Group Industrial Strategy at Groupe PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as Vice President Manufacturing. Philippe de Rovira, previously Group Controller at Groupe PSA, will become the new CFO of Opel, following Michael Lohscheller. Michelle Wen, Group Supply Chain Management Network Director at Vodafone Procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team effective September 1 replacing Katherine Worthen currently Vice President Purchasing and Supply Chain. All other moves are with immediate effect. “We thank Katherine Worthen, William F. Bertagni and Philip Kienle for all their contributions to Opel/Vauxhall and wish them all the best for the next chapter of their careers within General Motors,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. “And we cordially welcome Michelle Wen from Vodafone as well as Remi Girardon and Philippe de Rovira from Groupe PSA. I am looking forward to working with these new team members who will reinforce the potential of our leadership team.”
      Going forward, Michael Lohscheller is planning with a much leaner management structure, including the number of direct reports. “We are reducing complexity and increasing speed,” said Lohscheller. “I am looking forward to shaping the next chapter of Opel/Vauxhall with the new management team and leading our company into a successful future. The owners and the employees will not be the only ones to benefit from ever stronger Opel and Vauxhall brands – our customers will do so too.”
      PSA and Opel/Vauxhall have been working together since 2012. The cooperation so far includes four vehicles from Opel. The first model, the Opel Crossland X, has been available at dealerships since the end of June. The Opel Grandland X SUV in the next higher segment follows in the fall. The successor of the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle will come onto the market next year and as of 2019 the next generation of the best-selling Opel Corsa will be launched.
      Opel/Vauxhall and Groupe PSA will continue to work with General Motors in the future. In addition to development in the area of electric propulsion, Opel plants will continue to produce vehicles for the GM brands Buick and Holden.
      In parallel, the acquisition of GM Financial's European operations is under way, subject to validation by the different regulatory authorities’ review and is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

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