The DMC-12 seemed to be more convenient for parking because of its doors. It has no paint, instead just stainless steel, so you shouldn't worry about scratches. Why such brilliant car had no success ?

  • 1
    If I get a chance I'll try to make a proper researched answer. From my memory, it was expensive as hell, and the automaker was independent, so they had to build themselves a dealership network from scratch. I have a vague memory of the owner getting 80's-ed in some way too. – T.E.D. Oct 22 '15 at 23:42
  • The joke around here was that they didn't sell well because everyone was afraid of cocaine residue, but I think that has the cause and effect reversed. It certainly didn't help dig them out of receivership though. – Comintern Oct 23 '15 at 0:33
  • 1
    The stainless steel was dull grey outside a showroom. The gull doors were weird, and as TED said you couldn't find one if you wanted one. – Oldcat Oct 23 '15 at 0:40
  • 1
    wikipedia says it was a victim of the market slump of the mid '80s. Combine an economic downturn with an expensive niche product and no other source of corporate income and you're in trouble. Add rumours about the company owner being involved in organised crime (drugs trafficking) and you're dead. – jwenting Oct 23 '15 at 16:23
  • 1
    I would posit that it was not that it was unpopular in the market, it was not in the market. It never made it to the point where there were enough being produced to overcome the shortcomings. There were other cars throughout history, which were considered ... problematic (i.e. Pinto, AMC's Pacer) that were (or should have been) market bombs, yet were made in enough quantity to be profitable anyway. – CGCampbell Oct 23 '15 at 18:47

Actually there was a waiting list for the DeLorean.

It was a good car! But design, production as well as the company owner were dogged by setbacks, in part caused by the innovative design and therefore untested manufacturing technologies used.

Engine selection and location as well as chassis construction were changed after the original concept which led to considerable schedule pressures.

Construction on the factory began in October 1978, and although production of the DMC-12 was scheduled to start in 1979, engineering problems and budget overruns delayed production until early 1981.

About 9,200 DMC-12s were produced between January 1981 and December 1982. Almost a fifth of these were produced in October 1981. The workers were largely inexperienced, but were paid premium wages and supplied with the best equipment available. Most quality issues were solved by 1982.

The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982 following John DeLorean's arrest in October of that year on drug trafficking charges. He was later found not guilty, but it was too late for the DMC-12 to remain in production

In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed still to exist.


  • I feel I must comment that this is explicitly a repost of Wikipedia, which is EXACTLY why we close questions using the trivia reason. If this is the answer to the question, the question should be closed. – CGCampbell Oct 24 '15 at 22:18
  • 1
    This does not answer the question. The car may have been in high demand briefly but it was quickly pulled - surely if it was really such a great product the company could have gotten financing to keep it going until the factory ramped up. Why did production end after just a few thousand sales? – user4139 Oct 25 '15 at 2:37
  • 1
    @JonofAllTrades like with all small companies with a single person in charge, if that person falls away the company fails. DeLorean was arrested, put in jail awaiting trial, so the bills couldn't be paid given that he was the only one with access to the bank accounts. Also, the negative name the company got from being associated/owned by a suspected criminal no doubt led to some orders being cancelled and sales dropping. – jwenting Oct 26 '15 at 7:13
  • 1
    @jwenting: that makes sense. Why don't you write it up as an answer? – user4139 Oct 26 '15 at 11:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.