Originally published February 13, 2013.
Revised and republished December 6, 2015 after a web host transfer.
He worked as an executive at Chrysler, Packard Motor Car Company, and General Motors. He became the free-spirited “Auto Prince”, the “Detroit dream merchant”, the savior of Chevrolet. He promised to build a new dream car.
But John DeLorean’s overconfidence, his flashy lifestyle, and his playboy reputation did not fit well with other General Motors executives.
At General Motors, DeLorean created America’s muscle car, the Pontiac GTO, by listening to rock and roll.
But after DeLorean’s death, The Independent wrote about his “trail of fraud going back 20 years”.
The British government thought DeLorean was the right person to bring jobs to Northern Ireland for the sake of creating peace during the worst of “The Troubles”.
But DeLorean hid his dream car’s flaws, defrauded his own company, and put millions into Swiss bank accounts and dummy companies for his own use.
The DeLorean DMC-12 car had an acceleration speed too slow for a sports car. The stainless steel body panels showed fingerprints. It looked like a cookie cutter car with few options for individuality. The $25,000 price tag was too expensive for the market. Despite John DeLorean’s claim that he had 30,000 people waiting to buy his car, only about 6000 cars sold.
John DeLorean could not raise enough money to keep the company going. The DeLorean Motor Company went into bankruptcy and receivership. DeLorean fought legal battles over the company’s bankruptcy for more than ten years. He declared bankruptcy in 1999. He was evicted from his New Jersey estate in 2000.
The DeLorean car became famous in the movie Back to the Future. About two thirds of the original cars are still on the road with improvements to fix the flaws. Steve Wynne and the DeLorean Motor Company of Humble, Texas (DMCH) used to build refurbished DeLorean cars from new parts, original parts, and reproduction parts. Now the company supplies parts, reproduces parts, and does restorations.
None of the current successes make up the financial losses for the British government and every individual investor. None of the current successes will make up the job losses for Irish workers who desperately needed employment. All of them lost because the wrong person got the job.
Questions to ask yourself:
“What have I lost because the wrong person got the job?”
“What have the people I love lost because the wrong person got the job?”
“What can I do to encourage other people to hire the right person for the job?”
“How am I going to avoid choosing the wrong person for anything?”
“Five things you might not know about DeLorean Motor Company”
October 21, 2015
“John DeLorean: The man who fooled the world”
October 20, 2011
“Nerves of Stainless Steel | Auto Maverick John DeLorean”
The Selvedge Yard
May 29, 2009
“Q & A: Stephen Wynne, CEO of DeLorean Motor Company”
New York Daily News
October 20, 2015
“The Rise and Fall of John DeLorean”
The Eighties Club
Paula M. Kramer
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