Revstone Industries, the latest corporate conglomerate to own the Saleen Performance Vehicle brand, announced Monday that it plans to drop production of the “Saleen” Mustang. The company did not state detailed reasons for their decision, but lack of traction and support in a brutal marketplace is a likely factor. Economic conditions have not been friendly to high priced niche products and many believe that without Steve Saleen himself behind the brand, that most enthusiasts would not support the company long term with their dollars.
In their statement, Revstone stated they plan to focus on becoming a “second-stage manufacturer” of aftermarket performance parts. Bob LaCourciere, president of Revstone Aftermarket, said the move will allow the company “to leverage” its size and customer relationships to provide a wider range of high performance offerings to consumers.
This means that the latest 2011 Saleen S302 we reported on from SEMA last fall will be the last vehicle Revstone builds with the Saleen brand name. The company states that the vehicles currently in production will be completed by the third quarter of this year.
Revstone says that it will continue to honor warranties for all vehicles and that Saleen parts will continue to be produced through the Speedlab brand. No further detail was given by Revstone as to what their long term plans are for the Speedlab or Saleen brand names.
What this means for Steve Saleen who left the company back in 2007 and started SMS Supercars is unknown. He had made his intent clear in 2009 when he filed suit against MJ Acquisitions to cease and desist using his name on their cars. While that suit did not prevent the Troy, Michigan company from using the Saleen name, there is no doubt that this new development may have an impact on Steve’s ability to regain use of his brand.
Last year we reported on the all new 2011 SMS 302 Mustang that Steve Saleen proudly unveiled. The car features many of his signature design elements and performance enhancements. Many of the core Saleen owners and enthusiasts, the purists in the hobby, have only considered the cars SMS Supercars built under the direction of Steve Saleen to be the only real and true “Saleens”. His company SMS Supercars offers versions of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and the Dodge Challenger.