Rumors have been swirling this past week about the potential sale of Saleen, Inc., just a few months after the company announced it would explore the sale of its operations. LA-based Hancock Park Associates, which purchased a majority of the business from Steve Saleen just a few years ago, had been recently running the company with just a few dozen employees to keep the business going until it could find a buyer. The sale is now finally official, with MJ Acquisitions purchasing a majority of the assets of the company including both the production car and aftermarket divisions. Other assets, including the S7, S5 Raptor and the paint operations remain with Saleen, Inc. Currently, all Saleen employees are officially out of a job, including CEO Chris Theodore, but MJ Acquisitions plans on hiring many of the workers including several that were previously laid off.
The new owners seem to be a good fit, already owning several automotive companies and benefiting from extensive experience in engineering and production related to performance vehicles. MJ Acquisitions' immediate plans include the development of the 2010 Mustang for the Racecraft brand as well as new Saleen models that will be introduced in the third quarter of 2009. Full details regarding the sale can be found in the press release after the jump.
Related GallerySaleen Irvine Assembly Plant
Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
Related Gallery2009 Saleen Dark Horse Mustang
Related GalleryIn the Autoblog Garage: 2008 Saleen S302 Extreme
Irvine, California, February 2, 2009 -- After announcing it was looking for a buyer in early November, Saleen Incorporated announced today that MJ Acquistions has acquired certain assets of America's premier automotive lifestyle brand, relating to Saleen's supercharger, aftermarket and high performance street vehicle businesses.
The transaction reportedly was finalized last Friday, which left all of the employees (including Saleen Inc. CEO Chris Theodore) with the legal formality of being without jobs -- at least temporarily. Some hirebacks have already taken place as the transition progresses.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the purchase does not include the assets associated with the supercar (S7 or S5 Raptor vehicles) or the paint operations, which will remain with Saleen Incorporated.
The ownership of MJ Acquisitions controls a family of companies which provide full service engineering, design, manufacturing, assembly and control systems for the automotive industry. It's affilitated companies include Cyltec, LLC, Power-Tec Engineering, LLC, Arrow Racing Engines, LLC, and Control-Tec, LLC.
"MJ Acquisitions and its affiliates are a group of true car professionals with vast experience in the engineering, production, assembly and distribution of performance and racing vehicles" said Theodore in a press release. "This influx of new life into the Saleen, RaceCraft and SpeedLab brands is a win-win situation."
Theodore noted loyal Saleen customers, dealers and enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting transition period.
"We moved on this purchase quickly to ensure that the process of delivering high-quality automobiles and components to the consumers is not disrupted," said Mike Shields, President and CEO of MJ Acquisitions. "We are working with the talented team from Saleen and our own experts to continue the quality, delivery, and performance the customer base and delalership network have come to expect from the Saleen brand. I am particularly excited about Saleen's supercharger experience and its synergies with Power-Tec's development of the next generation of superchargers."
Immediate plans are to roll out the 2010 version of the newly designed Mustang for the Racecraft brand and commence other Racecraft designs for additional vehicles. The new Mustang is shipping from Ford later this month. Additionally, the Saleen brand will have a new design of the flagship S-Line that is already in the works and scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2009.
While this announcement may provide more questions than answers for some, Saleen owners should be assured that key warranty and sales staff are still at the company to serve dealers and owners, with more hirebacks likely coming in the days ahead.
MJ Acquistions does plan to work with the dealer network and others to establish the future product line. A company spokesperson said more announcements will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.