Mike Knepper Joined DMC in September 1980. He had previously worked on the famous Magazine ‘Car and Driver’. John DeLorean himself personally interviewed him in August for the job. Knepper left the interview impressed, and decided to join the new DMC venture. DeLorean was looking for an expert in the field of Public Relations (PR), who could work alongside William Haddad. Haddad had personally recommended Knepper for the job because of his outstanding credentials.
The DMC PR team was beginning to take shape.
As Knepper started to grow accustomed to his new job at DMC, he noted the people that surrounded him – figures such as Gene Cafiero – the ex Chrysler president. Knepper held Cafiero in high regard, along with many others.
There were some staff members that Knepper did not fully get along with - Charles ‘Chuck’ Bennington was one. Knepper thought that Bennington's way of handling the press by ‘blanketing’ the factory in a shroud of secrecy was not his preferred method. In Knepper’s experience, at the time of the company start-up, the press should have been welcomed and encouraged to write favourable articles rather than spurned, and left to write negative articles – which was exactly what happened.
There was an incident Knepper describes where the then editor of ‘Motor’ was kept waiting in Benningon's outer office for five hours! Later, and understandably, ‘Motor’ become one of DMC biggest critics.
Knepper was with DeLorean and Haddad when the great ‘memo’ scandal broke out in the early 80s. At the time, the friendship between DeLorean and Haddad was more strained than ever, and Knepper was caught in between old friends with years of respect for each other, reduced now down to a future of dislike.
After Haddad left the company, Knepper took over his role. However, the company’s financial crises deepened and Knepper left in April of 1982.