San Antonio startup DeLorean says it's still in operation despite quietly moving offices

The electric vehicle company's CEO said it moved offices to be in a 'more centralized location' and disconnected its phone lines because 'no one used them.'

click to enlarge DeLorean customers rang alarm bells Monday, saying they were unable to access their deposits for the company's Alpha 5 electric vehicle. - Youtube / cubeflame
Youtube / cubeflame
DeLorean customers rang alarm bells Monday, saying they were unable to access their deposits for the company's Alpha 5 electric vehicle.
Electric vehicle startup DeLorean Motors Reimagined confirmed in a Tuesday email to customers that it's still in business even though it quietly shuttered its Port San Antonio headquarters late last year.

In its message, the company — which aims to bring back the iconic '80s sports car featured in the Back to the Future film franchise with an electric motor — said its officials also are aware that non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, sold to depositors for the cars are inaccessible. Company brass is working to resolve the issue, they added.

"Upon investigation, we have identified the root cause and promptly notified our partners," DeLorean's email said. "They are diligently working on implementing a solution as we speak. Rest assured, we're committed to resolving this matter swiftly and efficiently."

The company booked orders for its Alpha 5 car, whose production has been delayed several times, by selling NFT's for $2,500 to $3,000 on its website as deposits. NFTs are unique digital assets that exist on a blockchain and can't be reproduced or edited.

However, customers rang alarm bells Monday, saying they were unable to access their NFTs on DeLorean's website. This week, the Current also discovered the company's phone lines were down and its corporate offices at Port San Antonio were empty and the signage removed.

Those developments were only the latest twist for the high-profile car company, which initially touted its plans in a brief Super Bowl commercial.

In 2022, DeLorean officials pledged to create 450 jobs in San Antonio in exchange for some $1 million in city and county tax breaks. However, those incentives dried up in January after the company revealed that its hiring plans were stuck in neutral.

In Tuesday's customer email, DeLorean officials explained that they'd relocated the company headquarters to 102 9th St., Suite 200, inside the Phipps Building, the downtown office complex that also houses rooftop nightclub Paramour.

During the Current's Wednesday morning visit to the new offices, CEO Alan Yuan said DeLorean relocated to be in a "more centralized location." Both phone numbers listed on the company website were disconnected because "no one used them," he added.

During the conversation, Yuan also explained DeLorean no longer has a partner to host depositors' NFTs online.

The startup car company worked with New York-based digital asset venture NFT IQ in 2022 when it began selling tokens to depositors. However, Google now lists NFT IQ as "permanently closed," and an email the Current sent to the business seeking comment bounced back.
click to enlarge The new headquarters of DeLorean Motors Reimagined is located inside downtown's Phipps Building. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
The new headquarters of DeLorean Motors Reimagined is located inside downtown's Phipps Building.
Yuan didn't comment on whether NFT IQ is still in business, nor did he explain the whereabouts of DeLorean customers' NFTs. However, he said the car company's execs are actively working to find a new NFT host.

What's more, DeLorean is still working to develop an NFT exchange where those who made deposits on the Alpha 5 can sell and trade their tokens, Yuan said. The startup car venture initially unveiled plans for such an exchange in fall 2022, promising it would launch early the following year.

That missed deadlined raised major concerns among customers.

"We want to make sure everything works [before we launch it]," Yuan said of DeLorean's ongoing plans for the long-delayed exchange.

Further, Yuan confirmed that DeLorean had parted ways with its San Antonio-based advertising firm, KGB Texas, and was now scouting for a new marketing parter.

During Wednesday's visit, Yuan declined to show the Current around the company's new office, saying he had to jump in on a "big conference call."

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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