• Jul 31, 2009

Saleen 435S Mustang - Click above for a high-res image gallery

It's been an up and down week for Saleen Performance Vehicles, the newly formed company owned by MJ Acquisitions. Just last week Saleen just launched the 435S, their first model based on the 2010 Mustang, but only days before they were slapped with a lawsuit filed by Steve Saleen demanding that they stop using the Saleen name.

While Mr. Saleen claims the lawsuit was filed to "protect the name, reputation and brand value of Steve Saleen", Saleen Performance Vehicles claim they have every right to use the name after purchasing assets from Saleen, Inc. including the "Saleen brand for superchargers, aftermarket parts and high performance vehicles." Despite the lawsuit, SPV plans to continue developing its lineup of performance Mustangs, and should launch a second vehicle some time in the fall.

As for the lack of warranties for vehicles and parts sold before February of 2009 created by the sale of assets, SPV states that they are "working to resolve past warranty issues and have every intention of going forward with a warranty policy that will provide confidence to all our valued stakeholders." It's a fairly vague statement, but somewhat encouraging and most definitely a step in the right direction. You can read the full statement from Mike Shields, SPV's President and CEO after the jump.



[Source: Saleen Performance Vehicles]

PRESS RELEASE:

RESPONSE FROM SALEEN PERFORMANCE VEHICLES TO THE LAWSUIT FILED BY STEVE SALEEN AND SMS SUPERCARS THIS PAST WEEKEND:

To note:

• In February, 2009, MJ Acquistitions purchased many of the assets of Saleen Inc., including the rights to the Saleen brand, and certain assets relating to Saleen's supercharger, aftermarket and high performance street vehicle businesses.

• That part of the company is now doing business as Saleen Performance Vehicles, as a member of the automotive technology enterprise that also includes Power-Tec Engineering, Cyltec, Control-Tec, and Arrow Racing Engines.

• Saleen Performance Vehicles is preparing to launch two, new Saleen high-performance 2010 Mustangs this year, including a vehicle later this week during Mustang Week activities in Myrtle Beach, SC.

• Steve Saleen officially left Saleen, Inc. in 2007.

Statement from Mike Shields, President and CEO of Saleen Performance Vehicles:

TROY, Mich., July 20 -- "We're dismayed by the lawsuit that was filed this weekend by Steve Saleen, and even more disappointed by the fact that it appears to be an attempt to disrupt the debut of our new Saleen vehicle this week.

"Our company's purchase of certain assets in February entitles us to use the Saleen brand for our superchargers, aftermarket parts and high performance vehicles, and we look forward to continuing the legacy of great Saleen products that fulfill the brand promise of 'Power in the Hands of a Few.'

"While this lawsuit is an unfortunate minor distraction, our dedicated team of enthusiasts is excited about not only the launch of our exciting new Saleen car later this week, but also on working closely with our loyal dealers and customers to ensure their satisfaction. As I stated last week during a media teleconference, we are working to resolve past warranty issues and have every intention of going forward with a warranty policy that will provide confidence to all our valued stakeholders.

"The Saleen Performance Vehicles brand is not about one person. It represents a legacy of high-performance vehicles that has developed over the past quarter century, and we feel privileged to be entrusted with that legacy going forward. Everyone in our company takes that responsibility seriously. That's why we're so enthusiastic about the future of our company, and why we can't wait to begin its latest chapter this week at Myrtle Beach."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats an issue that you iron out before you sell off your business. Mr. Saleen is out of luck with this one because the acquisition of the business is also ownership of the name. The Saleen name is worth a good deal of money because of its heritage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone please explain this whole stupid lawsuit to me please? I'm getting so frakking confused of what Saleen really is!?????!!!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steve Saleen made the SALEEN brand, then sold the SALEEN company name included. Then SALEEN decided to get back in on the scene and made SMS since he cant use SALEEN due to selling that company in the first place. Now he is suing the new owners of SALEEN brand to stop using his name because it will hurt his business with SALEEN business practices and in the long term hurt SMS sales got it ? good lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      Steve Saleen is a douche.
        • 5 Years Ago
        His not a d-bag but his def a sell out...to leave Saleen in the first place and now he want's back in on the game this gives him the right to go around and sue the company he very started and left? If he was all honorable he would of never left Saleen in the first place. He just doesn't want competition for his SMS company...Its all about the $$$$
        • 5 Years Ago
        What on Earth makes you say that? After his old company said "HA, we aren't covering your warranties!" Steve stepped up and said his new company would cover them, despite having no obligation to do so.

        I think you need to look up the definition for the word douche because Steve Saleen isn't one. I would never buy a car from Saleen Performance Vehicles, but I would love to have one from SMS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Truly the worst transaction Saleen has made: never name your company by your name unless you're willing to license it or run it forever.

      This bickering, if continued for the rest of the year, will kill SMS and Saleen in one quick swoop. Steve should license and be done with it--considering *his* company is SMS and not even his branded name (Saleen)... WTF? was he thinking?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone have any facts about either Steve's departure from Saleen or the terms of the lawsuit?

      Specifically, what were the conditions of Steve's departure from Saleen? I believe it was a publicly held company with a Board which voted Steve out of the CEO role after which he sold his shares and left, but I don't know that to be a fact.

      What is the current lawsuit about? I can imagine Steve legitimately fighting the use of his full name as if he were still a part of the company, or fighting to retrieve the rights to his last name after the company's recent negative moves that are impacting his name, but I don't know any facts here either.

      I'm a fan of Steve's and would like to see him recover his name and his reputation.