Steve Saleen just recently retired from the company he founded, Saleen, Inc. Famous for highly modified Mustangs and F150s, the Saleen S7 supercar and also responsible for production of much of the Ford GT, his company has been a powerhouse of performance. Now, just days later, he has announced plans to import cars from China, becoming the CEO of ZX Automobile Company of North America.
The first imports will be a pickup truck and an SUV, bringing them first into Mexico and then eventually into the U.S.
ZXNA expects to have 150 dealers within a year to invest $300,000 each in ZXNA. They already have 30 dealers, Saleen says.
The company hopes to have an assembly plant in Baja, Mexico, where it will build vehicles for the United States. Plans call for importing 30,000 vehicles a year by 2009.
China has been aggressively trying to import cars and trucks into the U.S. with limited success to this point. Teaming up with Steve Saleen gives them a lot of connections and know-how and may be just what they need to break into this market. It's quite a shift for Saleen and though surprising, it may be a reflection of changing automotive markets. Is it a good idea? Stay tuned.