Clubbing your fellow car shopper and any errant baby seals over the head to secure a reservation for a car is a new thing in the U.S. Remember three years ago, when you’d drive to a dealer, find something you liked, and take it home? What a time. Today, the New DeLorean company is attempting to organize the barbarism when it comes to the Alpha5 electric sedan. Knowing that every reservation period leads to a free-for-all of selling or swapping reservations and positions like sports teams trading draft picks, DeLorean brought it all in-house. First, to have a chance at getting a reservation, one must pay $88 for a lifetime membership in the Alphas Club. We’re told there are other exclusive benefits for members but not told what they are.
The membership sign-up site is run by NFT IQ, so, yes, there are NFTs involved. After paying the $88, “Alphas Club members have exclusive access to secure their place in line on the DeLorean Exchange, by purchasing a randomized production slot for $2,500.” That $2,500 is actually for the purchase of an NFT linked to a build slot. Note the word “randomized.” The good news is that if your $2,500 is accepted, you’re guaranteed to win a slot. The bad news is that your NFT might pull build slot #10 or build slot #3,789.
DeLorean told Motor Authority the $2,500 price holds until March 12. After that, the reservation NFT will cost $3,500, and after that, the price goes up $500 for every additional 500 reservations. For example, if 1,000 reservations come in by March 12, build slots 1,001 to 1,500 will cost $4,000 apiece, slots 1,501 to 2,000 will cost $4,500 apiece, and so on. Using this example, the final 500 slots would charge $6,000 per. If fewer reservations came in before March 12, the final slots would cost more.
DeLorean’s got you covered if you wind up so far down the line that you can’t see the club entrance. The DeLorean Exchange is just that, an electronic trading floor where a reservation holder can “transfer, trade, or sell [their] production slot to other Alphas Club members,” and where those who couldn’t get reservations can buy them. No one’s playing nickel slots at that spot, though, so bring money.
Contrary to the climbing reservation price, the production figure has been slashed. Instead of building the 9,531 units planned, the company says it will build just 4,000 units over the next five years. DeLorean explained it was taking supply constraints into consideration as justification for the lengthy production timeline, and didn’t want to promise cars it couldn’t build. Even so, 800 units per year strikes us as exceedingly miserly; Cadillac plans to build two Celestiqs per day, each one assembled by hand, which would be about 520 per year. Furthermore, we still don’t know the Alpha5’s price nor where DeLorean plans to build the cars, and production isn’t expected to begin until 2024. The industrial situation should improve before the end of the decade — things can’t stay like this forever, right? (Insert nervous chuckle.) But any build slot after 3,200 has to accept an Alpha5 might not roll into the driveway until 2029.