But when MJ Acquisitions and Saleen, Inc. refused to honor warranties for vehicles purchased before the company took control of the Saleen brand, SMS Supercars stepped in to take on that burden, even without any legal obligation to do so. Steve Saleen and SMS Supercars then sued MJ Acquisitions to get the company to stop using the Saleen name in order to protect the brand's reputatoin.
Today's announcement means Saleen was successful in his quest. Moving forward, all of the products sold under SMS Supercars will be available under the Saleen banner. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Steve Saleen is Back in The Driver Seat of His Legacy and Heritage
Launching Several New Saleen Models
Corona, CA– (April 2, 2012) Famed racecar driver and automotive icon, Steve Saleen, announced today that the Saleen brand has been returned to its rightful place, himself. After several years of litigation, Steve Saleen has successfully regained control of the Saleen brand name and products that he created and built since 1984.
"In 2007, it was a difficult decision to resign from Saleen, Inc.", said Steve Saleen. "But I knew it had to be done in order to preserve the Saleen brand and to ensure the authenticity and high performance that our customers had come to expect."
That also marked the year that Steve Saleen unveiled his signature line, SMS Supercars (SMS stands for Steve Mark Saleen). SMS Supercars was the continuation of Steve's vision for high performance automotive manufacturing. During the few short years that followed its inception, SMS Supercars and Steve Saleen successfully launched three new models, the SMS 570 Challenger, SMS 302 Mustang, and the SMS 620 Camaro. With this, SMS Supercars also launched an entire catalog of aftermarket parts, including the innovative SMS 296 Supercharger system.
Steve Saleen further added, "Although the Saleen brand is a huge part of my identity, I knew it was the vision and passion that would shine through on my signature vehicles. However, it couldn't have been done without the support of the Saleen community. The foundation and inspiration that they gave me to move forward with my vision was what ultimately moved us to regain the Saleen branding. Most importantly the Saleen community gets their identity back as well."
The Refacing of Saleen
The return of the Saleen brand will allow Steve Saleen to begin offering all of his current SMS Supercars products under the Saleen flag. With this move, SMS Supercars will be carefully integrated into the Saleen branded family of products.
Steve Saleen will also be launching under the Saleen brand its 4V, SC, SSC, and X Models of the 2013 Mustang, 2012 Challenger, and 2012 Camaro ranging from 425hp to over 750 horsepower. These models will have the latest technology in Aerodynamics, Suspension, Braking, and Performance starting at less than $40,000.
This is expected to provide a full range of products for all Saleen dealers, Speed Shops, Race Teams, and Automotive customers in the American Pony Car segment of the performance market. All aftermarket offerings will include: Saleen Superchargers, SMS Superchargers, Saleen Vehicle Body Component parts, SMS Challenger Body Component parts, SMS Mustang Body Component parts, SMS Camaro Body Component parts, SMS Butterfly hoods, as well as all other interior and engine parts for these vehicles.
With the reuniting of Steve Saleen and the Saleen brand, Mr. Saleen is currently planning to make available all 1984 – Current Saleen vehicle aftermarket, replacement and warranty parts. All parts will be available through the Saleen.com website, by contacting Saleen at 800-888-8945 (formerly SMS Supercars) directly, or through the nearest Saleen authorized dealer.
Moving forward, Mr. Saleen detailed that the Saleen registry will be updated to include all SMS branded vehicles. By including the SMS branded vehicles in the registry they will gain their rightful place in the Saleen family. The Saleen Registry is the official record established to maintain the authenticity and exclusivity of all Saleen signature vehicles.
Additionally, any current owners or dealers of SMS branded vehicles will be provided with replacement badging for their vehicles, if they so desire. They can contact the customer service division of Saleen (formerly SMS Supercars) directly, provide the details on their vehicle, and the replacement Saleen badging will be sent out immediately.