Steve Saleen has announced his official retirement from Saleen, Inc., the company he founded 23 years ago that has grown into one of the best specialty vehicle manufacturers in the world. Apparently Steve is happy with the team he's assembled to manage the business in his place, and will be stepping back while maintaining a role as "corporate spokesperson and ambassador for the brand." We bet that job will come with a corner office, too.

Since he's still a major shareholder in the company, Saleen will have influence over product design, branding, marketing and other activities related to the biz, but there will certainly be a few more rounds of golf sneaked in between those boardroom meetings going forward.

His company seems to be doing well these days. The S7 in all its iterations is one of the most brutally fast vehicles in the world, and the company's many Mustangs are some of the best on the market (of which there are many). The Saleen Parnelli Jones Edition Mustang is our favorite Mustang on sale today, and the Heritage Edition promises to be nice a follow up. The company also has a nice business helping the OEMs build cars, having played a major part in the Ford GT's development and production. Word is Saleen will have new announcements about OEM partnerships in the near future, as well. Steve, however, may get to skip that press conference.

You can read Saleen's official press release after the jump, and we've included some of our fave Saleen galleries below.

Thanks for the tip, Dan!

[Source: Saleen Inc.]
Related GallerySaleen Parnelli Jones Mustang

Related GallerySaleen S281 Heritage Edition

Related GallerySaleen S331 Sport Truck First Drive

Related GallerySaleen Molly Pop Mustang


PRESS RELEASE:

STEVE SALEEN RETIRES FROM SALEEN INC.

~Saleen Continues Legacy as the "Go-To" Brand for OEM Performance Projects~

IRVINE, CALIF., MAY 14, 2007 – Steve Saleen, founder and vice chairman of the board at Saleen Inc., today announced his official retirement from the company's executive team. After years of planning, Mr. Saleen will take a greater step back from the company's day-to-day operations to act as corporate spokesperson and ambassador for the brand.

"I have a vested interest in the company's future and intend to remain involved," said Steve Saleen. "I take great pride in knowing I have assembled a team of the most talented and innovative professionals in the industry. Each person at Saleen has helped me achieve my dream and will help to continue my legacy into the next generation of Saleen products and services."

As founder and a major shareholder in the company, Mr. Saleen will continue to influence product design and development activities, as well as its branding strategies and promotional efforts.

OEM PROJECTS
Saleen Inc. has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years, producing nearly 5,000 vehicles in 2006 alone. Future manufacturing plans include multiple vehicle lines of Ford-derived vehicles (Saleen S281, Heritage and S331 Sport Trucks), as well as the S7 Twin Turbo, the world's fastest production car. After tremendous successes in the design and production of the Ford GT for Ford Motor Company, Saleen Inc. will soon announce new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) programs with both Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler to begin in spring 2007.

"Saleen has become a name synonymous with performance," said Dan Reiner, chairman of Saleen Inc. "It makes a lot of sense to let Steve take on an auxiliary role to maintain his vision and continue building the world's greatest performance products. Steve's many years of hard work have provided a great foundation for the company in the automotive industry, propelling the company beyond Saleen-branded products to become an industry leader in the performance category."

ABOUT SALEEN
Since the company's inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 12,000 complete and EPA-certified vehicles, more than any other specialty automobile manufacturer. In addition, Saleen has equipped more than 600,000 vehicles worldwide, further emphasizing their capabilities and commitment to excellence.

A nine-time Manufacturers' Champion in GT sports car racing, Saleen manufactures the American super car - the Saleen S7, as well as the S281 Mustang, S331 Sport Truck and the Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang. Saleen's manufacturing facilities are located in Irvine, California and Troy, Michigan. The Michigan facility has just completed all paint and assembly of the Ford GT as a special project for Ford Motor Company.