Time Circuits On: The Future Is Now

SEMA News—April 2016

FROM THE HILL

By Christian Robinson

Time Circuits On: The Future Is Now

DeLorean Motor Company Hosts U.S. Representative Gene Green

  Gene Green
U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) championed the SEMA-supported Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act in Congress.
   

“The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” explained Dr. Emmett Brown in the blockbuster film “Back to the Future.” As any movie buff will tell you, the car Doc Brown spoke of was the DeLorean DMC-12. Unfortunately for movie lovers and gearheads alike, the DeLorean hasn’t been in production since 1983. However, thanks to a new SEMA-supported law, that’s about to change.

The story of the original DeLorean is well known. Formed in 1975 by former General Motors executive John DeLorean, the manufacturer of the stainless-steel car with gullwing doors was forced to declare bankruptcy and close its doors in the early ’80s. Today, approximately 6,500 of the 9,000 vehicles produced are still on the road.

Stephen Wynne Gene Green
DeLorean Motor Company CEO Stephen Wynne (left) gave U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) a sneak peek at the company’s upcoming production plans.
 
   

Stephen Wynne resurrected the DeLorean Motor Company in 1997, purchasing all of the parts and molds from the original production run. Based in the Houston suburb of Humble, Texas, Wynne’s company is able to service and repair the vehicles still in existence today. The company even has enough inventory to assemble about 300 more DMC-12s.

DeLorean’s rebirth is possible thanks to the SEMA-supported Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which was signed into law by President Obama as part of a larger transportation bill late last year. Under the new law, small-volume automakers such as DeLorean are allowed to make up to 325 turn-key vehicles per year that resemble classic cars originally produced at least 25 years ago. The new law exempts the cars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-based standards but requires that they come equipped with a current-model-year engine package certified by the Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board.

“It’s incredible,” DeLorean CEO Wynne said. “This legislation is a game changer for us. As a result of this law, a whole new generation will be able to enjoy these unique cars.”

  DeLorean Motor Company
DeLorean Motor Company is able to service and repair the 6,500 DMC-12s still in existence today.
   

DeLorean’s second life would not have been possible without another Houston product—U.S. Representative Gene Green (D-TX). Rep. Green, along with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), championed SEMA’s replica-vehicle legislation in Congress. Before being elected to Congress in 1992, Rep. Green served the people of Houston for more than 20 years in the Texas state legislature. In Washington, Rep. Green serves on the prestigious House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has primary jurisdiction over the auto industry. Rep. Green is also a member of the SEMA-supported Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus.

After months of hard work in helping enact the bill into law, Rep. Green was able to see firsthand its impact as he visited the facility where existing DeLoreans are serviced and restored to like-new condition. During the tour, he also got a sneak peek at the company’s upcoming production plans. The new DeLoreans will incorporate parts from the future. While the classic design of the car will remain the same, the updated DMC-12 will feature larger wheels and tires, modern brakes and state-of-the-art amenities, such as GPS navigation. In order to meet production needs, DeLorean plans to hire an additional 40 workers at its Texas headquarters.

“This bill ensures that companies like DeLorean are not hindered from selling their cars,” Rep. Green said. “I’m proud to see an iconic Houston brand like DeLorean going back into production, thanks to our bill, and I look forward to exciting times ahead as we go back to the future.”

For more information on planning your own Congressional District Site Visit, please contact Christian Robinson in the SEMA Government Affairs office at christianr@sema.org.

SEMA PAC President’s Club Spotlight: Kyle Fickler

SEMA PAC President's Club
Kyle Fickler (right) of Aeromotive is introduced to U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA, left) by Nate Shelton.
 
   

Kyle Fickler is the director of business development at Aeromotive, which is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas. Fickler currently serves on SEMA’s Board of Directors and is a three-year member of the SEMA PAC President’s Club.

“The long-term viability of our industry depends upon having the right to modify our vehicles and places to enjoy them,” Fickler said. “Federal legislation and regulations can have a huge impact on both. For more than 50 years, SEMA has fought on behalf of all of us to maintain these rights, but the battle never ends. If you are a stakeholder in this industry, your participation in SEMA PAC ensures that our voice will be heard in the nation’s capital.”

For SEMA PAC information, contact Christian Robinson at 202-783-6007 x20 or christianr@sema.org.

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