WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD: General Motors is being sued by a tiny Dutch company that bought the Saab brand from GM for $74 million in 2010, before it went into bankruptcy protection.
IF GM CAN'T HAVE IT: Spyker Cars NV, along with its now-bankrupt former Saab subsidiary, alleges that GM unfairly blocked deals that would have seen a Chinese manufacturer take over Saab production and save it from bankruptcy. It says GM feared competing with Saab in China.
STILL HOLDING THE KEYS: As part of the deal selling Saab, GM retained say over GM technology used by Saab — including the chassis of most of its models. It also kept $326 million in preferred shares in Saab, with payments due to start several years after the sale, if Saab had turned profitable. Spyker turned its first-ever profit in the first half of 2012 — due entirely to restructuring debt it couldn't repay. When the takeover occurred in 2010, most analysts were extremely skeptical that Spyker would be able to turn Saab around, saying that Saab didn't have the quality to compete against high-end luxury cars, nor the volumes needed to compete in the upper-middle class market.