If you watched the Big Game this past weekend, you likely noticed an unexpected entrant among the legions of EV and NFT advertisers: DeLorean. The ad spot, a mere fifteen seconds of the famous gullwing doors opening in silhouette, sparked the interest of every viewer with a pulse and a bit of Back to the Future nostalgia. A new DeLorean? In 2022?
For starters, this ad isn’t from the original DeLorean Motor Company — you know, the one that built the cars. That one burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp back in the early eighties. It was supplanted by a Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company in the nineties, which won the rights to the original DMC name and branding in a lawsuit just a few years ago, but that company also isn’t the one running this ad — although it may not not be. Let me explain.
The electric DeLorean revival is coming from a company called DeLorean Motors Reimagined, also based out of Texas. The new company, which was incorporated at the end of last November, has its own leadership structure, employees, and address. It’s led by former Karma Automotive VP Joost de Vries, who seems to have brought on Karma’s former Chief Vehicle Engineer Ben Marquart to be the new company’s VP of Engineering.
The new DeLorean Motors Reimagined has its own website, but it does link back to a site for the mid-nineties DeLorean Motor Company. Just days before the Super Bowl ad aired, the new DMR site was being used for the old DMC — specifically, to advertise the reproduction DMC-12 cars the company had discussed building years ago. Those reproduction vehicle now appear on neither site, leaving questions as to whether they’re still even planned for production.
Given the shared domain name and social media accounts, DMC and DMR are clearly related companies. But with independent addresses, registered agents, and taxable entity filings with the state of Texas, it’s unclear whether DMR was spun off from the more established DMC, or if the new upstart has simply worked out some sort of cooperative deal.
So, we know somewhere between one and three DeLorean-related companies want to build an electric revival of the classic coupe, to be fully revealed this year. We know the new company will be based in San Antonio, and appears to have spoken to local government officials about bringing 450 new jobs to the city. We know Italdesign is somehow involved, but it’s unclear if this is related to the revived DeLorean design that company teased last year.
What we don’t know is… everything else. The new DeLorean site is light on information, but heavy on merchandise and low-resolution imagery. Its links for media, PR, and investor relations all lead to various email addresses, but Jalopnik reached out by both phone and email and heard nothing back. We also don’t know what DMR’s tagline, “The Future Was Never Promised,” is supposed to mean. Seriously, no one in the Jalopnik slack could figure it out.
Neither DeLorean Motors Reimagined nor DeLorean Motor Company has promised much of anything yet. Nothing’s been said of a firm production timeline, or even a number of units to be produced. Still, a startup EV company relying on a beloved name for marketing with little other information available does strike some of those classic vaporware chords.