General Motors filed a response in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to reject claims made by Saab's parent that GM intentionally bankrupted the Swedish company by obstructing a deal with a Chinese investor. The lawsuit is valued at $3 billion. GM replied that it held the legal right to grant Saab's transaction with China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.
In the filings, GM said that the core of the complaint is that GM didn’t approve the transaction plaintiffs had suggested to go into into with Youngman. However, the pertinent contracts did not allow Saab to consummate the proposal without GM's consent. GM had already indicated previously that this lawsuit, which was filed by Saab parent Spyker last month, didn’t have merit.
Saab, which is one of the most famous brands in Sweden, halted production in May 2011 when it couldn’t anymore pay its workers and suppliers. It became bankrupt in December, less than two years after Dutch sportscar maker Spyker bought it from GM. The U.S. automaker’s moves to put a stop to any sale were done to eradicate a possible competitor in China, Spyker revealed in the lawsuit.
Back then, Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller said that GM “had it coming” with regards to the lawsuit. Spyker wants to get a minimum of $3 billion in compensatory damages, aside from interest and punitive damages, and legal fees.
Muller had made attempts for several months to bring about a rescue agreement with different Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese investors, Youngman and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co Ltd. Muller said that an anonymous third party, who will get a share in the settlement, is funding the lawsuit.