Bexar County quietly votes to end tax incentive deal for DeLorean Motors Reimagined

An official with the electric-vehicle startup sent a letter to the county asking it to end the abatement deal, which called for it to create 450 jobs.

click to enlarge DeLorean Motors Reimagined headquarter at Port San Antonio. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
DeLorean Motors Reimagined headquarter at Port San Antonio.
Bexar County Commissioner's Court pulled the plug Tuesday on an incentives package for DeLorean Motors Reimagined, an electric-vehicle startup that pledged to create 450 jobs if it got tax breaks to locate its headquarters in San Antonio.

The commissioners didn't discuss the deal's termination during their weekly meeting. Instead, they voted 5-0 to approve the action as part of a package of routine agenda items.

The vote came after DeLorean Chief Operating Officer Bill Frazer sent a letter to the county asking it to end the incentive agreement, which would have included roughly $1 million in tax breaks, the Express-News reports.

In early 2022, the then-new auto company grabbed headlines with an announcement it would build an electric-powered version of the DeLorean, a flashy but ill-fated 1980s sports car featured in the Back to the Future movie franchise.

Within days, San Antonio leaders including Mayor Ron Nirenberg and then-Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff trumpeted plans for the firm to locate at Tech Port, where it would create hundreds of good-paying jobs by 2026.

Few of those jobs materialized, and the company last year scaled back launch plans for its first car. CEO Joost de Vries quietly resigned in December after some customers who placed deposits for the initial line of electric DeLoreans questioned the venture's ability to deliver on its promises.

DeLorean hasn't yet avoided paying city and county taxes because it never hit benchmarks required for those abatements to take effect, according to city and county officials. Even so, some industry observers questioned the wisdom of extending such a package to an untried venture in difficult startup market.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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