By on August 28, 2008

All aboard!Speaking at a now-standard new model private press preview (our invite got lost in the mail), GM Car Czar Bob Lutz tried to put the kibosh on speculation that his employer was going Tango Uniform (as above)– even as he's pimping for federal loan guarantees. Automotive News [sub] reveals that Maximum Bob reckons "I do think the American automobile business is deserving of government loan guarantees because the financial institutions in the U.S. are so stressed out right now." Lutz said that Wall Street's "stress" led to a lack of financial support, obviating "a competitiveness that we may well need." At the same time, Lutz thinks federal loan guarantees are no biggie. "We are not accepting government money," Lutz insisted. In fact, "the last time the government backed a loan for an automaker — for Chrysler Corp. in 1979 — it made millions because Chrysler paid the loan off early." Millions? Bob Lutz makes millions. (Frequently.) Meanwhile, The Detroit News reports that Republican Rep Joe Knollenberg called President Bush's top economic advisor, Keith Hennessey, urging the president to support up to $50 billion in direct loans for automakers. Bipartisan support, eh?

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14 Comments on “Bailout Watch 14: “Accounts of our imminent demise are not only premature, but also inaccurate and unsubstantiated”...”

  • avatar

    Say what you will about Maximum Bob, but he’s never at a loss for words. I wonder what happens when you drink this guy under the table…

  • avatar

    I wonder what happens when you drink this guy under the table…

    How could you TELL?

  • avatar

    Bob – you’re company is in trouble b/c of idiots and long past their prime (if they had any) managers and bystanders sitting on the board. GM’s greatest need is leadership and wisdom not more money to put into the crooks’ coffer!

  • avatar

    In four weeks we’ve gone from “we got lots of cash — no problem” to “we need government intervention.” I guess the crisis has become too big to hide anymore.

  • avatar

    If it makes sense to bailout the financial instituitions. Why would it not make sense to bailout the car companies that are used to create jobs for millions of americans and the weapons of war that is one of the major reasons that we won world war II that created the wealth and stability for this country.

    Or, we could depend upon Japan and China to create the weapons we need since we will no longer have the expertise within our country to do so. But, US could pay for them with our natural resourses. That is the functions of third world country. Their only value is their natural resources

  • avatar

    Oh, ok, so it’s not just the perception gap, currency manipulation, ungrateful customers, or legacy costs? Now we can add insufficient credit to the list?

    It can’t be a failure of leadership or strategy, can it? No, can’t be.

  • avatar

    OK children, here’s the lesson today:

    Mr. Lutz is saying that he wants your money, but you won’t get a car as part of the deal.

    Now, go talk to your friends at other sites that hate TTAC for pointing things like that out. Teach them the real truth, if you can.

  • avatar

    Chrysler had a little different situtation in 79 as i remember.. (okay i was born in 1983.. not the point). Chrysler had just come under new leadership that had addmitted the problem with chrysler was… chrysler! they had on paper a realistic means to get out. Chrysler didn’t ask for money to come up with ideas.. chrysler asked for money to make solid ideas come to life! Oh.. i suppose i forgot about the volt.. haha

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    This Jehovah guy needs to hang around even after Robert gets done changing lightbulbs!! Good work, Jehovah!!!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I thought that globalization was the be all and end all nirvana of business evolution. Worldwide capital markets, talent markets and sales markets would let the best and brightest companies fulfill their manifest destiny whilst those badly run companies would get out of the way. The MBAs running Wall Street, Detroit and the Federal Reserve have been preaching from this doctrine for decades now. Employees have been told to adapt, retrain or die off as this is how the world is going … like it or not.

    Yet …. said same globalist executives are now saying that when it is their Ox being gored it is the patriotic duty of their countrymen (and women) to pay up and bail them out.

    When has ANY executive of the 2.8 spoken heartfelt words about THEIR DUTY to their fellow citizens and customers? Can ANYONE provide a link to a speech these zombies have made about their obligations and responsibilities to the rest of us?

  • avatar

    just wait till the sales numbers come crashing in for August, and see what tune he sings. With GM factory support of leasing limited only to the following models for 2009-Malibu, Impala,G6 and Caddy-watch the market share ratchet down another notch.

  • avatar

    I’m not saying Lutz is insincere; but let’s put it this way, I don’t think the Great Pumpkin will be coming anywhere near his pumpkin patch.

  • avatar


    Yes GM, Ford, and Chrysler (and AMC, Willy’s, etc) once built military vehicles and weapons (mainly WWII and to a lesser extent the Cold War era). However, this is no longer the case.

    What’s left of Ford Aerospace was sold in 1990 and is now owned by Lockheed Martin. General Dynamics bought Chrysler Defense in 1982 and GM’s defense division in 2003. AM General was spun off of AMC because AMC could no longer build military vehicles with Renault (and thus the French gov’t) in charge.

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