Back to the Future with DeLorean

The gull-wing doors and unusual construction of this iconic car made it a perfect Hollywood time machine. Can it make a comeback?

The DeLorean story is fascinating — it’s a story of innovation and hope.

For some, DeLorean is an aspirational brand. Many fans and enthusiasts don’t own a DeLorean, but they participate in online forums, buy collectibles and attend fan events.

Credit - Susie Chung

Credit – Susie Chung

Of course, the influence of the “Back to the Future” trilogy cannot be discounted in the role of the DeLorean as a timeless, pop culture icon.

[Also on Longitudes: Smarter, Better, Faster]

The concept of the DeLorean began as a way to spur innovation in an era of the automotive industry when innovation and individuality were lacking.

John DeLorean (the creator and founder of the original DeLorean Motor Company) grew up in Detroit, Michigan.

Because of all the salt on the roads during the cold months, many people had cars just for driving in the winter so they didn’t get their good (summer) cars rusty.

John believed that stainless steel was a solution because it didn’t rust easily.

Despite their obvious gimmick, gullwing doors only require 14 inches of side clearance. Normal car doors typically require much more room.

When John was floating his concept in the mid-1970s, parking was a big problem in the United States — parking lots were constantly full.

John figured that if gullwing doors caught on, it would solve the parking problem because cars would then park closer together.

For many, the original DeLorean factory was a beacon of hope.

At the Convention of DeLorean Owners, held every few years, factory workers from the original Dunmurry (a suburb of Belfast, Ireland) factory share stories of their experiences working for the original company.

They had the best tools, the best pay and the best working conditions.

The factory was built in Northern Ireland during a time of political turmoil. Some of the factory workers were the first in three generations to have jobs.

DMC uses Acctivate for daily operations

Credit – Susie Chung

Ultimately, the original DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982. The factory produced 9,000 DeLoreans before closing, and roughly 6,500 of those vehicles are still in existence today.

Around the same time of the bankruptcy, another visionary left his home in Liverpool, England to come to the United States to pursue his dream.

His name was Stephen Wynne.

Stephen began his career by opening a shop in Southern California, working on French and English cars.

After the original company’s bankruptcy, DeLorean dealers quit working on the cars. One of Stephen’s customers, however, asked him to work on his DeLorean, as the DeLorean was essentially an English car with a French engine. By 1985, Stephen was working exclusively on DeLoreans in Southern California.

Stephen believed he needed to control the DeLorean market.

He was aware of the remaining inventory from the original company’s liquidation, and he wanted to assemble those parts into cars again.

Stephen acquired the remaining inventory along with the name and DMC logo, knowing the brand would have considerable value.

For many years, the new DMC has kept the original remaining DeLoreans running — and affordably.

The new DMC is now growing from an auto parts distributor and service provider to manufacturer.

Decades after the original launch, DMC will resume production of the new DeLorean. In addition to producing new automobiles, DMC plans to add global affiliates and grow the DeLorean community while keeping prices affordable.


Credit – Susie Chung

As an innovative small business, DMC plans to tap into technology such as Acctivate Inventory Software, partnering with leading logistics providers such as UPS and cultivating a culture of innovation.

[Also on Longitudes: A More Electrified Auto Supply Chain]

As a business, you should always be looking to the future.

DMC’s story of small business innovation is just one of many. By utilizing the right tools such as a logistics partnership with UPS and Acctivate Inventory Software, they are now armed for growth.

What is your business doing to become a company of innovation? goldbrown2

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Brian Sweat is the CEO of Alterity, Inc. - creators of Acctivate Inventory Management Software. Alterity helps small businesses to improve their operations with technology.

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Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.