Saleen goes up for sale

It seems like every day there is some headline involving the economic downturn and at least one of the major automakers, but very rarely is there anything on the smaller manufacturers. But even the little guys are feeling the economic strain, with Saleen recently announcing that its operations are up for sale.

Saleen is best known for tuning Ford products, but also produces the S7 supercar and has plans to produce the S5S concept shown at last March's New York Auto Show. In addition to working on its own creations, Saleen also built the GT for Ford and has a hand in the production of the Dodge Viper.

The automaker has been in a bit of turmoil since Hancock Park Associates purchased a majority stake in Saleen in 2004, which ultimately lead to the departure of Steve Saleen, the company's founder. High gas prices and the recent economic downturn have further eroded the business, leading to the "˜For Sale' sign in Saleen's front yard.

According to Automotive News, Saleen's board is hoping for a quick sale, with a time table for a signed deal set for early next year. Saleen isn't wasting any time getting the ball rolling as it has already sold 20 Ford Mustang GTs, office equipment and factory equipment at auction.