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#665 of 674 What's The Verdict on Maximum Bob?
Mar 04, 2010 (7:33 am)
GM announced that Bob Lutz will retire May1, at age 78.
It's difficult to assess his legacy. He was certainly a colorful character, who didn't mince words. I think he was a positive influence on GM, but his actions unfortunately didn't save GM from bankruptcy. Maybe no single individual could have saved GM by the time Lutz joined the company.
His comments were humorous, at times, and his outspokenness was refreshing. I hope he continues to comment on the auto industry in his retirement.
#666 of 674 Re: What's The Verdict on Maximum Bob? [hpmctorque]
Mar 04, 2010 (7:38 am)
He gets an A for effort, and a C- for results. GM cars and trucks look a lot nicer inside and out than they did a decade ago. Yet, he paid too much attention to nichey halo sports cars and not nearly enough on improving the unglamorous bread-and-butter stuff that actually pays the bills.
#667 of 674 Car Guys vs Bean Counters
by steve_ HOST
Apr 29, 2011 (6:40 am)
Just when you thought Lutz was gone, he's back with a book attacking company finance departments, US business schools, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh while including plenty of digs at socialists and the left-wing media.
"Often wrong, but seldom in doubt."
Sounds like a fun read. At the book stores on June 9.
Bob Lutz To Glenn Beck: “Eat Your Heart Out. Volt Is The Future.” (MotorTrend)
#668 of 674 Car Guys vs. Bean Counters
by steve_ HOST
Jun 13, 2011 (7:50 am)
More book excerpts in the Wall St. Journal.
On the upstart Japanese:
"The Japanese weren't burdened by legacy costs—pension, health care, or any of the other fixed obligations that burden a company that has existed for more than half a century. Effectively turbocharged by a closed domestic market and a weak yen, it was easy for the Japanese to set up nonunion facilities in Southern states, using handpicked workers, all young and all healthy. They also got some lovely tax breaks for building facilities."
"And herein lay the big mistake in the creation of Saturn: In order to preserve its sanctity, it was given its own engineering, manufacturing, legal staff, and so on. This massive structure was to be supported by the sale of just one compact car: the Saturn S1 four-door sedan, which resembled a mini-Oldsmobile, was neither ugly nor beautiful, and offered average performance and fuel economy."
Sep 03, 2011 (6:38 am)
GM has hired Lutz back as a part-time consultant. Does this prove that he's making the grade, that he's made the grade, that GM is looking back instead of forward, or that a 79 year old can still add value? Do consumers really care?
#670 of 674 Re: He's Back! [hpmctorque]
Sep 06, 2011 (4:36 pm)
Don't know that I know the answer to that.
I did find Lutz's book kind of strange. It certainly sounded like him but he'd throw "facts" that weren't so and go back and forth between , "yeah we built some suck cars there for a while" to saying, referring to the same time period say "our cars were as good as the competition."
I still don't know what to make of him but he keeps life interesting and certainly a car company seems to put out better product with him vs. without him.
#672 of 674 Re: He's Back! [hpmctorque]
Sep 12, 2011 (10:13 am)
As with fezo, can't answer that. The water's too murky to tell.
On the one hand is the reach-back due to the design / stylists needing a kick in the teeth / butt, which could be considered in some circles good?
On the other, same thing EXCEPT is there no direction, no one in the current crop who can handle the job, which is BAD?
In any event, should get some good 'ol foot-in-the-mouth quotables pretty soon...
#674 of 674 VL Automotive Destino
by steve_ HOST
Jan 16, 2013 (8:12 pm)
"What is it? A Fisker Karma with the plug-in hybrid system yanked out in favor of a frugal Corvette V-8. In a piquant irony that auto shows live for, the Destino is brought to you by Bob Lutz, the ultimate Car Guy and retired GM vice chairman who championed the plug-in Chevy Volt."
The Fisker Karma With a V-8, Courtesy of Bob Lutz (NY Times)