Depending on who you ask, the first American supercar was either the 1911 Mercer Raceabout or the 1992 Vector W8. However, when it comes to production supercars, the 2001 Saleen S7 is widely regarded as America’s first effort in that direction. It’s been 15 years since Saleen introduced the S7 and 11 since it was discontinued, and all the remaining inventory, parts, memorabilia, molds, designs, and intellectual property related to the supercar are up for sale.
The offer also includes the 2001 Saleen S7R race car, as well as the 2008 Saleen S5S Raptor Concept the American brand designed in 2007. The assets and intellectual property to all three cars can be purchased via GA Global Partners, which is currently accepting bids on the whole bundle.
The sale comes amid financial troubles for Saleen Automotive, but the actual seller of the assets is Hancock Park Associates, the private equity firm that has controlled the brand for a few years. The company held onto some Saleen products when founder Steve Saleen regained control of the brand.
According to GA Global Partners, the assets, which include the six remaining chassis and frames from the S7 supercar, have been kept in safe storage for the past five years.
Continue reading for the full story.
The aftermarket tuner Saleen has found itself in rather dire financial straits. The company’s recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the company is hemorrhaging money faster than Donald Trump could make it. The official 10-Q Form shows the company only has $7,261 cash on hand.
And that’s not even the worst of it. The company has $5.6 million in liabilities it owes. It’s getting sued by a bank for non-payment of loans, it owes some $95,600 in legal fees, and it has $583,900 in unpaid payroll taxes. All of Saleen’s assets only total $668,629.
The numbers only continue to get worse. Year-over-year revenue is down by nearly half, between July and September 2014 – a three-month period – the company lost more than $2 million and its cash on hand dropped from $1.5 million to the measly $7,261 reported above.
Sadly, it’s hard to say that money went to worthwhile causes. Research and development costs – usually some of the largest expenditures for a car company – are only listed at $250,130 while some $443,767 was spent on sales and marketing costs such as auto shows and photography. Keep in mind Saleen’s current R&D includes juicing up the new 2015 Ford Mustang and the Tesla Model S; two projects that would likely be expensive.
While it’s tough to speculate, it seems the only real saving grace would be a car-loving benefactor who could swoop in, knock out debt and give sound business advice. Someone call Marcus Lemonis of The Profit.
Click past the jump to read more about Saleen’s latest problems.
Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.
Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.
After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.
SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.
Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Bad news for all Saleen fans out there! Revstone Industries, the company that builds models for Saleen, has announced that by the end of 2011 they will no longer produce vehicles for Saleen. The main reason for their decision is "the confusion and controversy with Steve Saleen’s company, SMS Supercars."
In an official letter sent to dealers, Saleen said: "Over the past several years, we have witnessed a lot of confusion around the Saleen brand, due to a number of financial ups and downs and accompanying changes in ownership. The name itself has become the center of countless conversations and debates, detracting from the cars themselves, and from the culture of performance that they both embody and serve."
"Through our conversations with Ford Motor Company and one another, we have come to feel that those things have become overshadowed by questions surrounding the name. So we want to wipe the slate clean, and usher in a new era of American Muscle. We are confident that, in time, you will agree this was the right decision."
Plan to see the same type of American muscle, but under a different brand that has yet to be determined.
For the savvy investor, why buy a part of the near-bankrupt Ford when you can probably get an entire company that does better work with Ford’s engines. In a statement Friday, Saleen said it has hired an investment bank to explore selling the suburban Detroit company by early next year. But be cautions, the resources of Saleen Automotive may not be much. Founder and car guru, Steve Saleen, left the company in May 2007 to start a new company that works on more than just Fords (like the SMS 570X Challenger.)
This may not be the best time to do a sale. While there is a lot of news about the big auto companies teetering on the edge of destruction, the little guys are absolutely feeling it too. Tight credit markets and the slump in auto sales have hurt specialty companies such as Saleen and ASC Inc. (who are now owned by the same parent company.)
There’s no speculation yet on how much the company is going for, but hey, the owner will likely recoup some of that instantly considering that there must be a few $590,000 S7s lying around the factory somewhere.