Car That Brought You 'Back to The Future': DeLorean DMC-12 Failure Analysis

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Back to the Future is a science fiction movie released in 1985. This movie which became a blockbuster in the 80s, tells a story about Marty McFly that travels back to the past and future eras with his eccentric friend Dr. Brown. There are many things that become memorable in this movie such as the nostalgic moments in the past era to predictions of what 'future' technology will be from the present moment in this movie. There is also special treatment in this movie to communicate the way McFly can travel into many eras. Another sci-fi movie brings time machines as 'things' that are cubical, complex, or other that is far from 'normal' human daily life. Back to the Future tells you something new about a time machine that presents as a sports car: DeLorean DMC-12. DeLorean DMC-12 which can be simplified as 'DeLorean,' is a sports car manufactured by DeLorean Motor Company (DMC).

This car came to the American market from 1981 to 1983 (4 years before Back to The Future was released). There are strong design characteristics in this car such as metallic-dominant color, stainless steel outer body, 2 seated, gull-wing doors. Furthermore, the uniqueness of this car is the metallic color of the DeLorean panels actually wasn't painted, they were made from stainless steel as we can see in catering products. The uniqueness in the overall design is a work from Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, that have been invited to collaborate with John DeLorean (the founder of DMC) Before founded DMC in October 1975, John DeLorean someone who worked in many automobile companies, such as Packard, Chrysler, Chevrolet, and Pontiac.

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The car company trends at that time are known as must had a massive financial background, excellent manufacturing, and a base of distribution to enter the mainstream market. DeLorean vision while facing these trends is designing a high-end sports car, with excellent styling and innovative safety features. He started to run this vision by segmenting the relatively small market in the car industry which are luxury and sports cars. COPS: Using $700,000 of his own money to seed the business DeLorean quickly raised another $12 million from DeLorean's network of wealthy friends and celebrities. He also sold $10 million of dealership rights in advance of production. DeLorean's goal to produce 30,000 vehicles a year seemed manageable given that the U.S. sports car market totaled approximately 800,000 automobiles annually. However, building and selling, distributing, and servicing even one hundred cars a day would not be easy. In 1973, at the beginning of a worldwide recession and staggering inflation rates resulting from OPEC's push on oil prices, it became daunting. However, DeLorean recognized that his venture had a huge asset in a recession: it would create jobs. He decided to auction off the employment opportunities from opening up an automobile assembly plant, finding interest in Puerto Rico and Northern Ireland. In fact, the United Kingdom was so anxious to generate employment in Northern Ireland -- where the government faced civil unrest in West Belfast and one-third of the workforce was unemployed -- that it bid aggressively for this opportunity to create several thousand new jobs, despite an external consultant's report stating that DeLorean's company had only a 10% chance of success.

The British government won the day, offering DMC $135 million in loans and loan guarantees. With financing in place and an exciting new vehicle design, DMC began constructing the six-building, 660,000-square-root manufacturing facility in October 1978. The plan was to produce 20,000 cars the first year, rolling the initial vehicles off the assembly line in late 1979. Unfortunately, early in the process of moving the car from the concept to production, DeLorean, a highly experienced automotive engineer, found that they had to make major changes in the car's design due to difficulties in sourcing parts and meeting specifications, and cost changes.


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Car That Brought You ‘Back to The Future’: DeLorean DMC-12 Failure Analysis. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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