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Old 6th August 2012
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Exclamation Spyker filing lawsuit against GM

Filed under: Government/Legal, GM, Saab, Earnings/Financials, Spyker



"Smack." That's the sound of Spyker's process server dropping a big ol' pile of legal documents on the doorstep of The Renaissance Center, home of General Motors - or wherever GM's attorneys live during business hours. Contained therein is a Complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and demanding a jury trial, that seeks $3 billion in damages due to "the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market." Spyker accuses GM of "tortiously interfering" with Saab's business relationship with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile (Youngman), actions that Spyker CEO Victor Muller (above) said "deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy."

(From Wikipedia: "Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when a person intentionally damages the plaintiff's contractual or other business relationships.")

The interference in question specifically refers to the very last potential deal, called the Framework Agreement, that Spyker worked out with Youngman. With lots of GM engineering embedded into the 9-4X and 9-5, The General had the right to approve any Saab partnership that would involve the transfer of GM intellectual property. Spyker had been rebuffed over every previous deal with a Chinese firm, including two bids by Youngman, due to GM concerns over its IP getting into Chinese hands and having to face Chinese-market competitors using its technology. The Complaint alleges that the Framework Agreement would have put a firewall around all GM IP - Youngman would only work on Saab's Phoenix platform, said to be just about free of GM tech, and would have no access to 9-3, 9-4X or 9-5 technology until after Saab ceased all ties to GM.

Thoretically, as stated in the Complant, this should have spared Saab the need to even ask GM for permission to make the deal outlined in the Framework Agreement since it didn't involve any transfer of GM technology. GM felt differently and repeatedly, publicly proclaimed that the Framework Agreement couldn't proceed without GM's say-so, which GM would not give, and that led Youngman to walk away. It is those public proclamations by GM that Spyker alleges as tortious interference. That's the basics, but there's a lot more to be discovered in the 27-page Complaint, which can be found here.

Muller said they've been working on preparing the lawsuit since bankruptcy was declared last year, and with a view to a lengthy and heinously expensive court battle, Muller's golden touch with securing money has come through yet again: a third party has furnished Spyker with the "backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end." There's a press release below announcing the move, otherwise known as "the first shot."Continue reading Spyker files $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors over Saab's demise

Spyker files $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors over Saab's demise originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 10:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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Old 6th August 2012
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Sock it to them Victor!
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Old 6th August 2012
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Default Spyker filing lawsuit against GM

http://www.spykercars.nl/?pag=50&jaar&nid=692

I find this interesting and thought I'd share

Hmmmmm nvm i see it was in the news section already.
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Old 6th August 2012
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I'm digging it. GM sucks.
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Old 6th August 2012
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take em to the cleaners!
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Old 6th August 2012
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Isn't Victor himself a lawyer in a previous life ? Maybe he can muster up a great group of trial lawyers. Where's good 'ol Johnny Cochran ? Oh wait, he kicked the bucket a few years ago

Good in principle, but at the end of the day this is a classic David vs. Goliath case. And Goliath has tons of cash and legal prowess. I don't anticipate Muller to get a lot of compensation, if any, in the end
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Old 6th August 2012
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Default Spyker Sues G.M. Over Failed Saab Deal

The Dutch sports car maker said Monday that it was suing General Motors for $3 billion as it accused the U.S. automaker of blocking a deal with a Chinese investor.

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Old 6th August 2012
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A jury trial in Michigan will not be a fair one. Looks like Spyker will be appealing the decision.
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Old 6th August 2012
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lol,so what he wants to hang onto saab?????? or just try to get every cent out he can???
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Old 6th August 2012
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Either way, he's still going after evil GM which is fine in my book. They take HUGE amounts of money in bailouts because of their poor business practices, and then drive companies into the ground... where is karma when you need it?
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Old 6th August 2012
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I agree with Spyker's premise, though GM has said (I believe I read somewhere) that the reason why they blocked the sale was due to a desire to avoid patent infringement by the Chinese...Mind you though, this is the same GM whole sold Hummer to China not too long ago.

All things being equal though, I'd much rather see Japan invest in Saab than I would China if no other potential European investor has the inclination to do so or, perhaps and more preferable to myself anyway, a collaborative effort between previous potential investor Koenigsegg Automotive AB and Spyker!
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Old 6th August 2012
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This lawsuit is not going anywhere, its just going to tie up the court system. I don't see why this couldn't be address when you they were trying to work out the kinks in the "frame work" deal.
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Old 6th August 2012
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lol,have you tried talking to someone at gm,they are stupidly self-arrogant.It's funny when it comes back to bite them in the ***
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Old 6th August 2012
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This all comes down to what the agreements actually say, but from what Muller is asserting, this is a classic case of anti-competitive behavior and GM should be taken to the cleaners for it. From the wording in the framework deal, GM had no say in whether it could go through, but effectively created control over that deal by threatening to breach a separate contract which would effectively make Saab insolvent.

As far as there not being a fair jury trial in Michigan, I am pretty sure that Ford and Chrysler people are not big fans of GM.
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Old 7th August 2012
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As much as Ford and Chrysler people dont like GM, you really think those people would choose Saab? On top of everything US courts will side with GM over the IP everytime. The chinese steal a lot of IP and blatantly copy other companys designs from around the world.

I give VM credit for trying to make GM suffer for the way they handled Saab. Its just not going to Work in his favor.
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Old 7th August 2012
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Regardless of the outcome, this NEEDED to happen. With a jury, I think he wins. Nobody likes to see the "little guy" crushed by the corporate machine
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Old 7th August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ji5mmy View Post
As far as there not being a fair jury trial in Michigan, I am pretty sure that Ford and Chrysler people are not big fans of GM.
No way they're going to rule against GM, IMO. I'm from Michigan. If someone here works for Chrysler or Ford, they don't hate GM. Sure, there's a friendly rivalry, but folks here dislike foreign competitors not other American companies.
Not to mention, the jury members very likely know someone who did or does work for GM (say what you will about GM, but thanks to the UAW they've treated their employees VERY well so there will be strong bias against Saab).
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Old 7th August 2012
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Luckily, even with a jury trial, the judge can still pass judgement notwithstanding the verdict. So even if the jury sides with GM because they are an American company, if they get it wrong, the judge can overturn it or the 6th circuit will get it right.

It isn't an issue of IP and a Chinese company trying to steal American business, the issue is one of GM violating the terms of a contract, or at publicly threatening to do so, in a way that they knew would have an anti-competitive effect. The entire case will come down to what the agreements actually say and how the jury/judge interprets them. I just wish that they would release the exhibits with the complaint.
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Old 7th August 2012
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What I don't understand is if Spyker/Saab eventually constructed a framework in which the Chinese would not receive GM technology (only Phoenix) why didn't Saab just make the deal with Chinese? Seems like Mueller was still trying to gain GM approval. Why would he need to?
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Old 7th August 2012
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Put simply, there was a deal but Youngman backed out at the last minute because GM threatened to violate the terms of the separate parts sourcing agreement if this deal went through. Without parts being sourced for the current models from GM, which GM agreed to do in a separate contract until 2014, Saab couldn't produce, even with the money from Youngman.

There was no attempt to get GM approval because it wasn't needed, but GM independently and publicly disapproved of the agreement because it "would be detrimental to GM and its shareholders" and was "not in [their] interest in [their] global operations". No mention of IP transfer, nor did GM say they had to approve of the deal for it to go through, but they did say: "We cannot continue to provide Saab with components and manufacture the 9-4x if this proposal remains."

GM basically was going to kill Saab either through stopping the liquidity deal which forced bankruptcy, or by not supplying the parts and vehicles that they agreed to supply.
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