End of an Era: Saleen Performance Vehicles Switches Focus to Aftermarket, Ends Car Production

Years of success were thrown into turmoil when founder Steve Saleen left the company in 2007 and after four years of rebuilding efforts, Saleen Performance Vehicles is throwing in the towel and will focus only on aftermarket parts in the future.

"We feel it is time to retire the legend and to usher in a new era of performance, said Bob LaCourciere, president of Revstone Aftermarket, which owns Saleen Performance Vehicles. "We will continue to honor our warranties on Saleen vehicles and Saleen parts will be available through Speedlab."

It's a stark departure from the statements made by Revstone's Director of Global Performance Vehicles, Jack "Doc" Watson, at last year's SEMA show just a few months ago.

"The teams responsible for engineering and development of Saleen products will dedicate their skills to the creation of a full line of specialized and compelling performance vehicles as part of Revstone Global Performance Vehicles and is showing several new products at the 2010 SEMA Show", said Watson. "At the same time the GPV team will ensure no Mustang is left behind as they continue to create Speedlab performance components for Mustangs of all types."

Today, LaCourciere tells a very different story.

"The teams responsible for engineering and development of Saleen bring a level of engineering prowess and passion that is second to none," LaCourcie told The Oakland Press. "We want to apply that same talent and dedication to second-stage manufacturing."

The end story of this announcement is that the 2011 Saleen S302 Mustang, built at the company's factory in Troy, Michigan, will be the last turnkey vehicle built by Saleen. Production, LaCourciere said, will end by the third quarter of 2011.

That doesn't mean the Saleen name is disappearing, though. While Saleen Performance Vehicles is no more, Saleen Speedlab, which specializes in aftermarket parts, will live on and indeed will likely expand as resources are redirected from the car building side of the business. The Saleen name will also live on at founder Steve Saleen's new company, SMS Supercars, which is not affiliated with Saleen Performance Vehicles.

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