For over three decades Saleen has built some of the most technologically advanced, impeccably tuned, and hottest performance vehicles in the world for both the street and track. Whether they are designs built from the ground up, like America’s first production supercar, the now legendary hand-built S7 (as well as the beefier S7 Twin Turbo and racing spec S7R), or the newly debuted 2015 model Mustang S302 builds, Saleen’s vehicles have become prized for their exceptional speed, massive horsepower, comfortably intuitive ergonomics, sleek styling, and superior aerodynamics. The S7, for instance, is known throughout the performance vehicle industry for being so aerodynamically advanced that its down force actually exceeds the vehicle’s weight at speeds in excess of 160 MPH.
A market leader in designing and developing performance automobiles, Saleen’s HQ and state-of-the-art modular manufacturing facility is located at the epicenter of America’s thriving modern car culture, Southern California (Corona). The company has developed a highly unique way of building cars over the years, empowered by an immense amount of track testing experience and numerous championships under their belt. Saleen’s streamlined and superbly optimized vehicle development process makes the company a formidable presence in the market, with the ability to not only conceive of and then churn out compelling vehicles in record time (S7 went from concept to unveiling in nine months), but to also do the same for purpose-built, patented parts and processes. A fact which has quickly led to the company to becoming one of the top prototype and movie car builders in the entertainment game today.
With design, engineering, manufacturing, testing and certification muscle all under one roof, including a highly talented in-house team of fabricators and machinists, Saleen is able to ensure that every component and product feature meets and even exceeds industry specifications. The company is also the top specialty automobile manufacturer when it comes to putting complete EPA-certified vehicles on the road, with over 12k such units launched since inception, and over 600k total vehicles worldwide equipped with the company’s parts. Saleen has further proven their workflow by being able to rapidly go from concept to production time and time again, harnessing the vast experience of their in-house engineering department and prototyping capabilities in order to execute extremely fast time to market on projects like the $124.5k (MSRP after federal tax credits) Saleen GTX, a remarkable improvement on the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S electric vehicle (EV).
Saleen is actually one of the top names in performance parts today, with a whole slew of gear ranging from accessories, wheels and engine parts for 1984 to 2015 Mustangs, as well as 2008 to 2014 model Challengers, and the company even sells custom composite aerodynamics packages to give their GTX an even more track-ready appearance and some Saleen Style, or to give the 2014 Camaro SS a durable, yet lightweight down force rear spoiler option. From the SMS (SMS Supercars, which was rolled-up into Saleen) fuel-injected 6.7L Saleen Mopar™ crate motor for the Challenger, a HEMI™ based 525hp engine with high-performance forged internals and 5-axis head porting, to heavy-duty billet aluminum front sway bar polyurethane bushings for the S550 Mustang, Saleen has an impressive selection of high-quality performance parts for sale which have made the company a go-to source for motorsport diehards. And because Saleen builds many of their production vehicles directly from the base chassis, the company also has a sizeable inventory of current model Ford (NYSE:F), FCA (NYSE:FCAU) Dodge and General Motors (NYSE:GM) Chevrolet stock parts for the 5.0L Mustang, 5.7L Challenger, and 6.2L Camaro on hand to fulfill customer’s needs.
The Saleen GTX is a shining example of the company’s automotive brand savvy and their ability to move fast on the hottest trends, snatching up market share as the public’s interest and dollars flowed increasingly towards companies like Tesla and into the booming EV space, which is on-track to see sales grow 411% over the next eight years, to around 1.8 million units. Leveraging their ability to efficiently develop, innovate and bring a show-stopping product quickly to market faster than other single category auto companies, Saleen debuted their GTX version of the Model S shortly before Tesla set their all-time record for sales of the sedan here in the U.S., back in October of 2014. The Saleen GTX features numerous upgrades over the stock Model S, including significantly enhanced on-demand torque, track-worthy throttling and improved acceleration thanks to the company’s extensive driveline engineering experience, as well as a custom 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor that pumped the unit’s output up to 691hp, output which is further enhanced by a custom high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system. A unique MAXGRIP locking differential implementation further clamps down the GTX’s handling characteristics as well, enabling wheel-specific force application for better overall traction. The company’s signature aerodynamics and styling, as well as a lush leather and alcantra (a durable synthetic suede) interior, helped to distinguish the vehicle even more and place the GTX into a luxury performance sedan category all its own. And because each GTX is cataloged and given its own VIN number, the collectability and re-sale value is premium, making the cars a very attractive investment for luxury performance shoppers.
This kind of design and forward-thinking marketing prowess is due in large part to the visionary at the helm of the company, 1996 Mustang Hall of Fame inductee, Stephen Mark Saleen (SMS). This is the same high-profile and ingenious designer behind the company’s all-new customized 2015 model Mustangs (435hp stock), a brand which out-sold Camaros by nearly 100% at the end of last year, with a 64% increase in YoY sales in November 2014. The powerful Saleen S302 $42.7k White (450hp 302ci 5.0L Coyote V8), $53.7k Yellow (715hp Supercharged) and finely-tuned, fully-loaded $73.2k Black Label (750hp Supercharged) Mustangs appeal broadly to an enthusiastic brand’s core demographic, where 52% of consumers of the stock Mustangs chose the more powerful 435hp V8 over the V6 and I-4 EcoBoost versions. The company has a clear strategy to appeal to Mustang fans that want a bigger bang for their buck by offering them a host of performance improvements on the stock version, all designed to put the higher-end Saleen vehicles on an equal footing with even the fastest of Ferraris. The super-sized intake and custom downforce spoiler cuts the S302s a mean profile and handling improvements enabled by the S4 high-performance suspension, specific-rate suspension springs, sway bar bushings and links are sure to give the 707hp Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat muscle cars a serious run for their money.
The luxury car market is much more than a niche these days and represents a sizeable chunk of the overall car industry’s growth. With around 15.5% of the market last year and sales in the ballpark of 2.5 million units according to award-winning research and market intelligence publisher Mintel’s October 2014 report, luxury cars have become a large and lucrative space. The Mintel report also noted that the luxury car market is growing faster than the industry as a whole. In fact, July 2014 saw overall car sales up 9%, while luxury car sales posted double digit percentage increases, with brands like Toyota (NYSE:TM) Lexus up 17%. However, the report also noted how sales growth and overall success really came down to brand awareness and the ability to drive product-specific sales to consumers through intelligent marketing and products design, as purchases of such big ticket items are never taken lightly. Saleen has been able to capitalize on the rapidly growing demand for environmentally conscious performance and luxury with their GTX product, piggybacking off the success of Tesla’s car and brand, while also providing a distinctly different answer to the 23k Chevy Volt’s sold last year. The debut of the new S302s should really help increase the company’s traction with muscle and performance car buyers, especially in the United States and sales of the new Mustangs should be something for investors to keep a close eye on.
China beat out the U.S. in 2013 to become German luxury carmaker BMW’s biggest market, with over 390k units sold, bringing the 2013 report from multinational management consulting firm McKinsey & Company on the Chinese luxury car market into sharp focus. The McKinsey & Co. report indicated a CAGR of 12% through 2020 and the overtaking of the U.S. next year by China to become the planet’s biggest premium car market. In light of these indicators, the deal signed last year between Saleen and environmentally focused, energy-efficient vehicle manufacturer GreenTech Automotive, whereby they will distribute SLNN’s entire collection in China, seems exceptionally shrewd and well-timed.
According to the Mintel report’s analysis of the underlying luxury car market’s psychology, luxury buyers around the world, known for their exacting tastes and articulate opinions, seek out key features in the cars they buy and look for a car buying experience that caters to their nuanced demands. From high-concept supercars and more powerful Tesla EV sedan builds, to supercharged Mustangs, Saleen understands the luxury and performance car segment like few other manufacturers and is continually building up their already well-established brand presence to further entice premium car buyers.
On the broader scope, Bloomberg analyst surveying recently projected an historically unrivaled sixth straight sales increase for the 2015 U.S. auto market, to around 16.7 million units, up roughly 2.5% year over year on strong consumer confidence, an easing credit environment fanned by low interest rates, and a growing shortage of used cars. The underlying market characteristics are robust and Saleen’s (OTC: SLNN) strong hand in the luxury and performance segment, as well as their investor-accessible share price, makes them an easy target for those looking to invest in the sector.
Take a closer look at the company by visiting www.Saleen.com