• Apr 3, 2009
Just like the majority of the automotive industry, recent news about Saleen hasn't been great. After going broke and selling most of their assets, Saleen Inc. announced that they were ceasing operations and would not be honoring existing warranties on cars and parts. To make things worse, the new owner of the Saleen car and aftermarket lines, MJ Acquisitions, Inc., refused to take the responsibility as well, only honoring warranties on parts purchased after February 2, 2009. It appeared that Saleen owners were out of luck. Enter Steve Saleen, who, despite not being involved with the company since the middle of 2007, has just announced that his new company, SMS Supercars, will honor existing warranties on Saleen products.

It's a move that's classy, honorable, and in our opinion pure genius. We could be wrong, but we're guessing that any costs incurred by SMS will be offset by the flood of faithful customers that will gratefully switch their loyalty from the company to the man that bears the Saleen name. Judging from a handful of owners' reactions, the announcement has already had that effect. With an SMS version of the 2010 Mustang on the way, it will be interesting to see just how many Saleen owners return the favor. Check out the press release after the jump for more details on how current Saleen owners can receive warranty coverage from SMS. Thanks for the tip, Chris!

[Source: SMS Supercars, SOEC.org]




PRESS RELEASE:

Orange County, California. (April 2, 2009) In an unusual step, SMS Supercars Chairman and CEO, Steve M. Saleen, announced a new and bold measure today with regards to customer warranty on products of his former company, Saleen, Inc.

Saleen Inc. announced it has ceased all operations, claims it has sold certain assets to MJ Acquisitions, Inc, and has even changed its name. In a statement made on March 6, 2009 to all Saleen dealers, MJ Acquisitions announced that while "regrettably, Saleen, Inc. is unable to honor any warranties," MJ Acquisitions will "not be responsible or obligated to cover warranties and/or financial liabilities of Saleen, Inc."

Said Steve Saleen "I was saddened about the way the current owners of the proud company I founded, and which held onto my name after my departure two years ago, have now dealt with my loyal and longtime customers." Steve Saleen, who founded Saleen over 25 years ago and who remained its CEO until 2006, left the company completely in the spring of 2007. Since then Mr. Saleen has had no control of, or operational role with, his former company, its operations or its current shareholders, Hancock Park Associates.

Said Steve Saleen, "The ones who have been left out in the cold are the loyal customers of Saleen products. While my new company, SMS Supercars, has no legal or moral obligation to take up any of the warranty claims against Saleen Inc. or MJ Acquisitions, Inc., I would like to make a bold statement on the right way to treat customers."

"If any Saleen customer in the United States who purchased a Saleen Inc. product up until February 2, 2009, has a warranty claim, they can directly contact my new company, SMS Supercars," continued Mr. Saleen. "We will honor their remaining warranties as if they were SMS Supercars warranties." SMS Supercars' warranty terms will apply.

"This unusual step in uncertain times is a measure to assure that my past and future customers, as well as Saleen and Ford dealers around the United States, continue to have faith in products bearing my name", said Mr. Saleen, who went on to say, "Customers who have bought a Saleen product in the past will receive the attention and care they and the Saleen products deserve."

"Despite claims from any other company", continues Mr. Saleen, "SMS Supercars is the only company that today offers products endorsed by Steve Saleen."

SMS Supercars, based in Orange County, California, is a manufacturer of high-end lifestyle performance vehicles. As his first new product, Steve Saleen launched the new SMS 570 Challenger in Newport Beach, CA, on January 21, 2009. The world premiere of the new SMS 570X Challenger is scheduled for April 9, 2009, at 1.30 pm on the New York International Auto Show.

Customers with warranty claims can contact the SMS Supercars warranty department at (714) 400-2121, warranty@smssupercars.com or visit www.smssupercars.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very shrewd move financially speaking. No better way to instill a little faith in your consumers and potential buyers.

      Hats off, real stand up move. Steve has certainly gained my attention and will not be forgotten when I hit my midlife crisis.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Steve was such a cool guy to work for that he once gave away a Saleen mustang at a company christmas party in Troy. Maybe he could come back to Michigan and open up the Troy plant and put us all back to work!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What the hell are "Warrantees"?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Warrant's groupies from 1990?
        • 5 Years Ago
        A species related to the Manatees.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did he ever have a mullet? He looks like the type of guy that would have a mullet
      • 5 Years Ago
      Generally I think it's a full-on douche move to sell a company you've founded, only to start a competing company when your non-compete clause expires; but this is classy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well, it would be except the whole reason was that Saleen was contractually limited to Ford products only and Steve wanted to branch out (as we all wanted Steve to branch out) to other manufacturers.

        So, rather than do the sneaky and start a second side-by-side company that grayed the lines and looked like a sneak around, he stepped completely away, waited for the end of the non-compete, and started a separate un-attached company.

        The man is an automotive icon in my book, with the technical prowess and the business ethics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Super classy move. Well done, Mr. Saleen. I never liked how things panned out with Saleen, Inc., so I think it's impressive for him to rise above the fray and put his name back on the line for products that he has no say in any longer.

      Well done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a smart move MJ Acquisitions, Inc., just lost all value it had left with Saleen,Inc lol

      whos gonna wanna buy a Saleen inc after this move? and judging from the SMS 25th Anniversary Mustang Concept the cars look very similar
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a standup guy! If I ever had the cheese I would totally get a hawt stang form this guy based on the principal that he will have my back and tons of tuner muscle!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, James Lipton from "Inside the Actor's Workshop" is stepping in to honor Saleen warranties? Sweet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's rare to see someone make a stand-up move in business, so cheers to him for that. I'm sure his customers will remain loyal to him.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed! I still can't figure out why Steve Saleen even sold the company! It's baffling me! Then he started another one doing the same thing!

        Come to think about it Henry Ford started Cadillac and sold it to GM then started Ford Motor Company... So there's always a reason I guess!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the company bearing his name has something to do with it, even though he don't work there anymore. He doesn't want his name ruined. My guess is that as a successful small business owner, some small time investment banker told him to go public with his company. It gives those guys a stock to "work". The welfare of the company is secondary. The founder of the business gets ousted many times, but they're usually consoled by the money they made by going public.
      • 5 Years Ago
      always the case of someone looking at the little picture (MJA) vss someone looking at the big picture (SMS), as well as doing what's right vs what's in the vein of what's legal
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