The first will arrive this summer, with the second coming next springEnlarge Photo
Saleen Automotive announced last November that it was seeking a potential buyer, with management acknowledging the firm has suffered financially from the economic downturn and rising fuel prices. In February Saleen announced the sale of its supercharger, aftermarket and high-performance street vehicle business elements to MJ Acquisitions, and now Saleen, Inc. has ceased operation and declared all warranties on Saleen cars and parts - no matter whether new, used or unsold and sitting on dealer lots - are void.
All warranties created before February 2, 2009 were to be serviced by Saleen, Inc., but with the company's cessation of operations, that leaves those buyers out in the cold, and responsible for their own warranty costs. Future warranties on parts purchased after February 2, 2009 from the new Saleen owned by MJ Acquisitions will carry a full 12 month/12,000mi warranty, however, said Jim Dvorak of the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club in a letter to members this week.
Saleen's sale to MJ Acquisitions earlier this year resulted in essentially complete unemployment for Saleen's workforce, though the new company did hire back some workers. Not sold in the previously announced deal were Saleen's S5 Raptor and S7 supercars and the company's paint operations.
"We are working with the talented team from Saleen and our own experts to continue the quality, delivery, and performance the customer base and dealership network have come to expect from the Saleen brand," said Mike Shields, President and CEO of MJ Acquisitions, at the announcement of the acquisition.
Saleen was a specialty vehicle manufacturer and a long-time tuner Ford tuner, and most recently unveiled its own concept vehicle, the Raptor S5S
. The company has close links Ford and its dealer network, and is responsible for part of the assembly of some of the Detroit carmaker's limited production vehicles.
In 2004 controlling interest was sold to investment group Hancock Park Associates in an effort to raise capital, however there were reportedly a number of major conflicts within the company, mostly between the Saleen family and the new management board.
The company has faced a number of hurdles since then, having lost its founder Steve Saleen
, who chose to start another venture, dubbed SMS after his initials, in 2007 and CEO Paul Wilbur in August of 2008. September saw additional departures of many senior officials and a freeze on production of many major product lines. Saleen has also been selling its office and factory equipment in a clearinghouse style auction, with more than 20 brand new 2008 Mustang GTs, tools, cabinets, office equipment, and factory machinery all going under the hammer toward the end of last year.