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  #1  
Old 07-18-2009
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Exclamation "There is only one Saleen" says Steve Saleen as he takes action to protect his name



"There is only one Saleen" says Steve Saleen as he takes action to protect his name



Orange County, California. (July 17, 2009) Steve Saleen and his company, Steve Saleen’s SMS Supercars, announced today that they have filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court in California, seeking an order directing MJ Acquisitions, Inc. to cease and desist from promoting their products under the Saleen name in any form. Concurrently, Mr. Saleen is also seeking additional, related remedies from the company that formerly carried his name. This action is an additional move to continue to protect the name, reputation and brand value of Steve Saleen, and to reassure his loyal customers, dealers and car enthusiasts that only Steve Saleen’s SMS Supercar performance vehicles and products are genuine and deserving to carry his name.

Steve Saleen ceded control of the company he founded, Saleen, Inc., in 2003 and left it completely in the spring of 2007 without any further management association. The non-enthusiast corporate executives sold a number of assets to a company by the name of MJ Acquisitions, Inc., changed the company’s name, and in early 2009 ceased operations altogether.

True Steve Saleen performance vehicles again available in the market

After having left his previous company, Mr. Saleen started Steve Saleen’s SMS Supercars in 2008 and unveiled his newest creation, the SMS 570 Challenger, in January of this year. After having participated in the 2009 National Automobile Dealers Association show as part of the official Chrysler Group display, Steve Saleen’s SMS Supercars successfully launched the SMS 570X Challenger and the new SMS 296 Supercharger at the New York International Auto Show in April of 2009, where many media ranked them among the stars of the show. Steve Saleen’s SMS 460 and 460X Mustangs were announced at the 45th Mustang Anniversary show in Alabama in April, with more info and images to be released this weekend at the Mustangs Northwest Roundup in Seattle and during the 2009 Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach starting Monday, July 20.

Steve Saleen steps up and protects his brand, name, reputation and customers “SMS Supercars is the new Saleen,” says Mr. Saleen

In April 2009, Steve Saleen announced support for his customers and dealers affected negatively by the demise of the company that long carried his name. In a statement issued in April, he said: “The company I launched a long time ago announced it will no longer honor its product warranties, nor will the acquiring company for those assets, MJ Acquisitions, Inc. This kind of ‘customer treatment’ damages my reputation, misleads customers and cannot be left unaddressed.” Steve Saleen announced that SMS Supercars would guarantee the warranties that MJ Acquisitions abandoned.

Mr. Saleen went on to say: “It amuses me that faceless executives and wannabes are trying to misrepresent themselves as some kind of continuation of Saleen, which they are not. SMS Supercars is the true Saleen. It is the only company I endorse, the only company entitled to use my name and legacy, and the only company that carries my signature on its products, because they are my products. The legal action we have undertaken today will emphasize once and for all that the only genuine Saleen products are mine.

"There is only one Saleen" Steve Saleen told SOEC today in an exclusive interview, making clear that MJ Acquisitions only bought certain assets -- and once Hancock Park Associates, then majority owner of Saleen Inc, shut down the company; the company ceased to exist, and the use of the name reverted back to Mr. Saleen. Mr. Saleen also clarified that he never had a non-compete clause when he left the company in 2007.

More on this story will continue to unfold, but the future for the owners and enthusiasts looks bright.

SOEC, founded in 1991, is the premiere organization for Saleen owners and enthusiasts, with thousands of members worldwide.


Source: SMS Supercars and Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club

Exclusive portions of story © Copyright 2009 Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club
Freely distribute with proper credits
Link to this story at: http://saleenforums.soec.org/showthread.php?p=21174 The Saleen Forums at soec.org
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2009
Barstang Barstang is offline
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YA HU Go get em Steve!!!!!!!!
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2009
ctann ctann is offline
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This should get interesting...
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2009
67fire 67fire is offline
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I guess he got tired of quality control and customer service issues!
WTG!!! Steve!


Eric
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2009
dgs053 dgs053 is offline
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This is what we've been waiting to here - go for it, Steve ! !
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2009
Bob D. Bob D. is offline
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I hope Steve realizes the depth of support out there for him and this move! The ONLY reason I bought my car was my respect for all Steve had accomplished both on the track and in the boardroom, and how he was able to translate so many engineering victories and styling cues from the race cars to the street cars. The thought of numb-brained bean counters and corporate bottom feeders usurping the proud, hard-won heritage of the true & original Saleen made me sick. I know I'm not alone in this regard. GO STEVE GO ! We are behind you 110%. :-)
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2009
AURINKO AURINKO is offline
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Excellent, Steve! That's what we've all been waiting for :)

I love my car, my "Sexy *****", as one of my friends named it ;)
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2009
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2007SaleenS331 2007SaleenS331 is offline
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Steve is a true business man and I am very proud of Steve to stand-up to his name and help us as a devoted Saleen enthusiast, unlike MJ Acquisitions. This made my day!! All I can say is " Thanks a Whole Bunch Steve!!"

Last edited by 2007SaleenS331; 07-18-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2009
Champion Autosport Champion Autosport is offline
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I think this is awesome news, finally we are going to return to a "true" Saleen mustang! I am behind Steve 100% on this, as I feel this is a move is right direction. If I was going to buy a 2010 mustang it would be a SMS460 and not a Saleen, even though I absolutely love Fox body Saleens, I feel that SMS is the true Saleen cars. Saleen Performance Inc, is set to unveil their 2010 mustang next Friday in Myrtle Beach @ the Mustang week show, SMS and Steve will be there also, this could get interesting. 100% SUPPORT FOR STEVE SALEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2009
05 Mineral Grey S281 05 Mineral Grey S281 is offline
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Default Sell off

I tend to remember Mr. Saleen saying he was going to retire and that was the purpose of selling off Saleen Inc. AND not to protect Hancock Park + MJ because they have done their share of misery to the patrons of this company. But I must say, Mr. Saleen running out the back door with HIS PROFITS and leaving his customers holding the bag was not the ethical thing to do also. Now he comes back and says he is going to cover warranty work and buy my cars - HMMM! All I have to say is beware of ----- bearing gifts! And of course, screw me once shame on you! and screw me twice SHAME ON ME!!! My view is none of them are above suspicion and or can be trusted.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2009
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NeoS281 NeoS281 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTH74 View Post
I think this is awesome news, finally we are going to return to a "true" Saleen mustang! I am behind Steve 100% on this, as I feel this is a move is right direction. If I was going to buy a 2010 mustang it would be a SMS460 and not a Saleen, even though I absolutely love Fox body Saleens, I feel that SMS is the true Saleen cars. Saleen Performance Inc, is set to unveil their 2010 mustang next Friday in Myrtle Beach @ the Mustang week show, SMS and Steve will be there also, this could get interesting. 100% SUPPORT FOR STEVE SALEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is going to be somewhat awkward. I wish I was attending this event because I'm interested in seeing the unveiling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Mineral Grey S281 View Post
I tend to remember Mr. Saleen saying he was going to retire and that was the purpose of selling off Saleen Inc. AND not to protect Hancock Park + MJ because they have done their share of misery to the patrons of this company. But I must say, Mr. Saleen running out the back door with HIS PROFITS and leaving his customers holding the bag was not the ethical thing to do also. Now he comes back and says he is going to cover warranty work and buy my cars - HMMM! All I have to say is beware of ----- bearing gifts! And of course, screw me once shame on you! and screw me twice SHAME ON ME!!! My view is none of them are above suspicion and or can be trusted.

I'm not sure if thats fair to say since we truly will never know all of the details concerning his decision to step aside. As far as business ethics is concerned, Steve clearly knows what it means to be moral, ethical, and above all an honest business man. Things didn't turn out the way he had hoped but all is well and in the end I believe it will all workout to his favor.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Mineral Grey S281 View Post
I tend to remember Mr. Saleen saying he was going to retire and that was the purpose of selling off Saleen Inc.
Saleen Performance needed a boost in their bankbook around 2002-03. Hancock Park gained majority interest in the company and plugged their own executives in various positions.

Hancock Park issued the Steve Saleen retirement statement back in 2007. One should consider their action as a preemptive strike on what they knew would be the inevitable.

If you go back a read the press releases and various Saleen Inc announcements of 2005-2007... it's apparent that SS would gain a new company position every so often... until it was a meaning title seat. The loyal friends / employees with X years with the company were pushed out... HP did most everything you could do to separate the vehicle & company from the creator.

ASC and their executive staff of 2008 placed the nail in the coffin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Mineral Grey S281 View Post
AND not to protect Hancock Park + MJ because they have done their share of misery to the patrons of this company. But I must say, Mr. Saleen running out the back door with HIS PROFITS and leaving his customers holding the bag was not the ethical thing to do also.
There were no real profits. HP is dumping what they own(ed). Penny on the dollar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Mineral Grey S281 View Post
Now he comes back and says he is going to cover warranty work and buy my cars - HMMM!
Right. Because Hancock Park kept the warranty fund and said "forget you" to the dealer network and owners affected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Mineral Grey S281 View Post
All I have to say is beware of ----- bearing gifts! And of course, screw me once shame on you! and screw me twice SHAME ON ME!!! My view is none of them are above suspicion and or can be trusted.
True. Though it's best to first have an idea of the history and lead-up to the current situation.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2009
Red_Devil Red_Devil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoS281 View Post
As far as business ethics is concerned, Steve clearly knows what it means to be moral, ethical, and above all an honest business man.
Really? Why don't you go talk to some of his former vendors, or former business partners (not including HP)...
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2009
biggdave19 biggdave19 is offline
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What's more interesting is his timing. When he announced the warranty program, it was the day the new owners (MJA) were to meet with him, now it's the same week as Myrtle Beach and the alledged intro of a new Saleen. Sounds to me like he's trying to steal MJ's thunder. As far as the lawsuit, it will be hard to get back something you sold the rights to.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2009
Light02atl Light02atl is offline
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Originally Posted by Red_Devil View Post
Really? Why don't you go talk to some of his former vendors, or former business partners (not including HP)...

I have heard the horror stories from some of his former business partners and "friends." I am referring to some REALLY big names in the community. However, without hearing both sides of the story and not seeing any documentation, I consider it a he said she said situation.
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2009
Richard347 Richard347 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67fire View Post
I guess he got tired of quality control and customer service issues!
WTG!!! Steve!


Eric
you can't get tired of something that never existed. Customer service? Steve asked what that is...
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2009
Saleen_Focus_123 Saleen_Focus_123 is offline
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I think that Steve is doing the right thing by his customers, where he did not have any requirment.

Steve I'm behind you 200%.
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  #18  
Old 07-19-2009
SimiSaleen SimiSaleen is offline
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Welcome Back Steve! And yes there is only one Saleen! Any Saleen that was designed and built when Steve was around is a true Saleen! Us true die hard owners have really suffered seeing what happened to the Fairbanks facility in Irvine after Steve left. It has been very depressing ever since and very empty

Thanks for coming back with a new company and delivering awesome cars once again. All of us Saleen Owners can walk tall and proud once again.

Your The Man Steve
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  #19  
Old 07-19-2009
05 Mineral Grey S281 05 Mineral Grey S281 is offline
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[QUOTE=NeoS281;21220]This is going to be somewhat awkward. I wish I was attending this event because I'm interested in seeing the unveiling.




I'm not sure if thats fair to say since we truly will never know all of the details concerning his decision to step aside. As far as business ethics is concerned, Steve clearly knows what it means to be moral, ethical, and above all an honest business man. Things didn't turn out the way he had hoped but all is well and in the end I believe it will all workout to his favor.[QUOTE/]
Yeah it certianly WILL AS YOU SAID TURN OUT IN HIS FAVOR.
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  #20  
Old 07-19-2009
05 Mineral Grey S281 05 Mineral Grey S281 is offline
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Default face value

I think any of us would be dilusional to not take a step back and really check any new product by EITHER of these entities SMS or MJ/Saleen INC. You never know what can happen out in the car world. Maybe MJ builds a car that is awesome. All I know I have a 2005 model I'm pretty happy with and have purchased a cache of performance parts for pennies on the dollar. When I'm done with the upgrades, I will have the car of my dreams with no tremendous outlay. In some aspects I appreciate Mr. Saleen dumping his company, it may not have helped the owners of the high end models as the value of the cars they bought went into the dumper. But on my end, being one of the PO BOYS it's like I hit the Saleen lottery.
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  #21  
Old 07-19-2009
Bob D. Bob D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggdave19 View Post
As far as the lawsuit, it will be hard to get back something you sold the rights to.
Actually it's done all the time, as almost nothing like this is sold without elaborately delineated limitations and conditions. If he didn't even have a noncompete clause I doubt he signed over for all eternity the right to use his own name--especially given that the company with which he signed the agreement is no longer in existence.

It is only due to his vision, commitment and hard-won experience that there is even a brand name to argue over, and I wish him nothing but luck. Just my $.02.
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  #22  
Old 07-19-2009
wpgfordguy wpgfordguy is offline
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Saw this coming long ago. Smart move by him.

It's just business guys...
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  #23  
Old 07-19-2009
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yellowpony281 yellowpony281 is offline
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I'm very confused... Who was down at PAS and out at Carlisle? Was that MJ Aquisitions/Saleen Performance that was displaying the red 2009 vert and talking about introducing the 2010 and distributing all the parts literature?
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2009
SimiSaleen SimiSaleen is offline
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I can't imagine that a so called Saleen built by MJ Aquisitions would be worth what a real Saleen is worth. One thing is for sure it will never get a signature from the man himself.

Nothing against MJ Aquistions but I just can't see a informed Mustang Enthusiast interested in buying a Mustang that the originator is no longer involved with.

MJ Aquistions would fair better calling it something else!
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  #25  
Old 07-19-2009
Red_Devil Red_Devil is offline
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Quote:
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Nothing against MJ Aquistions but I just can't see a informed Mustang Enthusiast interested in buying a Mustang that the originator is no longer involved with.
Like a Shelby GT500?
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  #26  
Old 07-19-2009
SimiSaleen SimiSaleen is offline
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Like a Shelby GT500?
At least Ford got the rights from Shelby in a legal manner
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  #27  
Old 07-19-2009
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Originally Posted by Red_Devil View Post
Like a Shelby GT500?
He does sit in 'em for photo opps and marketing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowpony281 View Post
I'm very confused...
It can be a twist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowpony281 View Post
Who was down at PAS and out at Carlisle?
MJ Acquisitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowpony281 View Post
Was that MJ Aquisitions/Saleen Performance that was displaying the red 2009 vert and talking about introducing the 2010 and distributing all the parts literature?
Yes.
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  #28  
Old 07-20-2009
robert patrick robert patrick is offline
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Default Steve Saleen

This, I hope is great news for us that spent a lot of money for Saleen cars, mainly because Steve Saleen designed them and stood behind them. I am hopeful that my investment in the PJ I bought is now more solid. It is a great car and one that should be consider "one to own", as well as all the other Steve Saleen Mustangs.
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  #29  
Old 07-20-2009
05 Mineral Grey S281 05 Mineral Grey S281 is offline
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Default After 2007

Mr. Saleen left Saleen Inc. in 2007 and cars that were built after this stiil bore his name although he had no further involvement with the company, It does not mean the 2007,2008 and 2009 models are worth anything less as all the design cues were already in place. So with that said, the 2010 Saleen we will have to have a wait and see attitude. From what I have been told the first car MJ is about to preview is very similar to the Racecraft model although it will not be called Racecraft, and from what I hear the S281 replacement model will be out by year's end. If history rears its ugly head again- in 1967 Mr Shelby ceased operation of building production Shelby Mustangs and in 1968 Ford took over producing the Shelby Mustang these models 1968, 1969, and 1970 models still have tremendous value. So, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Let us see what MJ has to offer before we shoot it full of holes.
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  #30  
Old 07-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
He does sit in 'em for photo opps and marketing.



It can be a twist.



MJ Acquisitions



Yes.

Thanks fopr clearing that up for me Dave!
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  #31  
Old 07-20-2009
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Autoweek has picked up on the story and has a comment from MJ Acquisitions .

http://www.autoweek.com/article/2009...NEWS/907209990
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  #32  
Old 07-22-2009
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Steve, there are few people left like you on this planet. Good luck "stickin' it to the man" :-) i'm behind you 100%.
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