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The future is here: San Antonio eyed for DeLorean HQ with 450 jobs

Back To The Future press night - London
Ian West/PA Images via Reuters Connect
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The DeLorean Motor Company has announced its comeback. The model is one of the dream vehicles of the 1980s and was immortalized in the "Back to the Future" movie series.

Teased in a Super Bowl television commercial, the DeLorean Motor Company has announced its comeback.

San Antonio will play a big role in that comeback as home to its global headquarters and 450 employees if various incentive packages are approved by local government.

The HQ would include executive, management and engineering positions to reimagine an electric version of one of the dream vehicles of the 1980s and immortalized in the "Back to the Future" movie series, starring Michael J. Fox.

Many vintage models are still on the road. The electric version could be on the road by next year.

The company has selected Port San Antonio for its home base as it advances growth plans nationally and internationally, according to a news release.

“San Antonio boasts a growing component and vehicle manufacturing sector as well as a wide array of global advanced manufacturing operations. This allows us countless synergies between established companies and suppliers in the broader region. A deep talent pool and a strong local academic ecosystem will foster further innovation,” said Joost de Vries, CEO of DeLorean Motor Company.

The company provides services to the roughly 6,000 coupes still in circulation and has acted as a steward of the brand over the last 40 years.

“In an increasingly competitive electric vehicle market, San Antonio is ready to lead,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “By planning to establish their global headquarters in San Antonio, DeLorean is validating the talent, strategic preparation, and adaptability our region provides for EV manufacturers to thrive.”

San Antonio and Bexar County's reputation as a vehicle manufacturing center began a couple of decades ago with the arrival of Toyota, which builds pickup trucks here.  Many of its suppliers followed them to the San Antonio area. Commercial truck-maker Navistar announced plans to move here a couple of years ago.  It is expected to soon begin rolling out trucks from its new South Side plant, some electric ones will be the first off the line.

“The future of automotive innovation is here in San Antonio. We have invested in building the ecosystem with the engineering, tech, and cyber talent, infrastructure, and supply chain that companies need. We’re about to see those investments pay tremendous dividends. I look forward to officially welcoming DeLorean to San Antonio,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

DeLorean plans to initially establish its headquarters in San Antonio while continuing to evaluate locations for manufacturing operations.

“This is a tremendous win for our region as we further focus our efforts to attract high impact, global headquarters to San Antonio,” said Greater: SATX president and CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera. “DeLorean plans to relocate its C-Suite executives to San Antonio and hire hundreds of engineering and management positions within our community. We look forward to working with DeLorean to continue growing within the San Antonio region.”

Among the advantages that the Port’s location provides DeLorean, is proximity to an upcoming state-of-the-art innovation facility, Tech Port Center + Arena. The 130,000-square-foot venue includes a collaborative lab space for prototyping new technologies; a technology museum and industry showroom to help connect locally-based innovations with potential buyers; and a 3,200-seat arena that can accommodate product launches, specialized trainings, conventions and other industry functions, according to a news release.

DeLorean will be working with local colleges and universities to develop a future pipeline for skilled professionals to join the company. 

The City of San Antonio and Bexar County are considering incentive packages for DeLorean.

The DeLorean was the dream of John DeLorean, a former executive with General Motors, where he fathered the Pontiac GTO and other muscle cars, according to Motor Trend.

The stainless-steel vehicle with gull wing doors saw brief production by the DeLorean Motor Company in North Ireland in 1981, but it financially failed a year later.

Soon after, DeLorean was charged with conspiring to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine, but he was acquitted in 1984. He died from complications from a stroke at age 80 on March 9, 2005 in New Jersey.

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