The drama that has been the unraveling of Saab after its separation from General Motors took an ugly turn this week with the filing of a $3 billion lawsuit against GM by the brand's current owner, Spyker Cars. At issue is the claim by the Dutch company that General Motors has done its best to prevent the involvement of Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. Ltd. in a restructuring deal that would have provided enough funding to get the ailing Swedish automaker back on its feet.
Spyker is technically suing on behalf of Saab, through an agreement that will see them take home a portion of the $3 billion in damages in exchange for funding the legal costs associated with the courtroom challenge. The heart of the problem, according to Spyker, is the abuse of a clause that allows General Motors to have the final say in what happens to certain technologies developed by the company and used by Saab - including the chassis employed by several of the manufacturer's products just prior to its bankruptcy. Spyker is claiming that GM is attempting to block Zhejiang Youngman from gaining access to this intellectual property so that it won't have to compete against itself in the Chinese market.
Unfortunately for Spyker, GM's ability to put the kibosh on any deal involving its homegrown tech was known from the outset of the negotiations to sell Saab to the Dutch concern. It would seem unlikely that the lawsuit will cause anything other than further complications for the bankrupt Saab as it attempts to wind down operations and take care of its messy financial obligations and debt situation.