By on January 22, 2016

Fastlane

General Motors quietly redirected its Fastlane Blog back to the mothership in December, signaling an end to the direct-to-C-suite “conversations” you could have with automotive executives.

The blog, which once hosted Maximum Bob’s musings on life, design and resign, was held up as a paragon for corporate communication in its day (it won a Webby) and provided fodder for this site.

We hardly knew ye.

It was prophetic. Lutz on $2 gas: “People will exercise their freedom to buy the vehicle they want, V8 engine and all.”

It was controversial. Lutz on buying an import: “Stan, I guess it depends whether you have your own personality or whether you are a lemming-like follower of current trends.”

It was bombastic. Lutz on scoreboard, bro: “We went from having, at least in North America, some mediocre products to having acclaimed products that are selling extremely well, especially on the passenger car side. In June, for example, in a slow market, our retail car sales were up 8 percent.”

It was retrospective. Lutz on leaving: “This business isn’t all that complicated. Do the best product you can do, and if it looks better and drives better than the other guy’s, you win.”

And now it’s gone.

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16 Comments on “RIP: General Motors’ Fastlane Blog 2006-2015...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    http://i.blogs.es/1eafa4/bob_lutz_rollover_opel/original.jpg

    How I will forever think of Maximum Bob Lutz.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Life in the fast lane
    Surely make you lose your mind

    Life in the fast lane, everything all the time
    Life in the fast lane, uh huh

    Blowin’ and burnin’, blinded by thirst
    They didn’t see the stop sign,
    took a turn for the worse

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      RIP Glenn Frey. Although Don Henley is the lead singer on that song, Frey does singing backing vocals and has writing credits.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Most people really don’t have any understanding as to how many famous singers/musicians hail from the metro Detroit area.

        It’s not just Eminem, Madonna, and Motown greats.

        The Seattle area and metro Detroit area have produced a disproportionately high number of major musicians; something in non-Flint water.

        Anthony Kiedis
        Bob Seger
        White Stripes
        The Verve Pipe
        Bill Haley
        Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg, Jr.)
        D’arcy of the Smashing Pumpkins
        Smokey Robinson
        Marvin Gaye
        Ted Nugent
        Alice Cooper
        Kid Rock
        Del Shannon
        Brownsville Station
        Rare Earth
        Ray Parker Jr.
        Ready For the World
        Tommy James and the Shondells

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          And yet, somehow Cleveland got the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

          • 0 avatar

            VoGo, two words:

            Alan. Freed.

            BTW payola was once a legal and accepted practice with its roots in Vaudeville. Song pluggers would pay performers to sing their songs in the hope of selling more sheet music.

            Freed’s ‘crime against humanity’ was playing R&B records for a mixed audience. Congressmen believed no one would play Rock & Roll unless paid by the record companies to do so; thus began their witch hunt.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Sponge (Vinnie Dombrowski is the only original member these days) had some hits in the 90s too.

          Chad Smith, the drummer from the RHCP wasn’t born here, but grew up in Bloomfield Hills, went to Lasher High School, and is often in the area.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Flea!

            I actually thought that I had forgot about him and that he was born here!

            p.s. – My non-Flint water comment above wasn’t a dig at Flint; just the opposite. Given recent, tragic events there regarding their toxic water issues due to massive negligence,

        • 0 avatar

          Very good list DW.

          A few there I wasn’t aware of. And I thought Brownsville Station were from Cleveland.

          Alice Cooper recorded “Eighteen” in Canada to take advantage of Canadian content laws and get Rosalie Trombley to add it on CKLW.

          Del Shannon drove a rusted-out four-year-old ’57 Plymouth to NYC to record “Runaway”.

          And I thought all the Chili Peppers were Californian.

          Not that I read “Fastlane” that much…but they should’ve left it up. Even if the reasons for shutdown were legitimate, it just doesn’t look good.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          Grand Rapids claims Anthony Kiedis…

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          then they move to SoCal and turn into arseholes.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Everything I see of Barra reflects the environment in which she developed her career. In retrospect, it wasn’t realistic for me to hope that someone of a different gender would think any differently.

    Diversity in skin color and gender are fine, even valued, just so long as you think exactly like us.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Makes sense; sounds like it was mostly just Bob Lutz’s blog, and he’s not with GM anymore. Though I’m somewhat surprised he didn’t stick to Livejournal, a la GRRM.

    Also, when the generation before the current Silverado first came out, they made it the background image of the blog.

    …But it was backwards, so the bowtie was backwards. Their designers kept a prominent backwards Chevy logo on their award-winning website for weeks if not months.

  • avatar
    86er

    Robert Maxumus does something similar now on R&T. I’m not going to link to it so this doesn’t look like a paid advertisement.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Blog cancelled because Mary Barra is two busy violating the principles of good corporate governance by being CEO, President and Chairman. That and planning a redecoration of the Ren Cen.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Bob Lutz is bombastic and easy to criticize, but at least the blog had a unique voice when he wrote it.

    Since he stopped doing it, the “blog” was essentially a series of press releases with comments sections attached. It should have been discontinued years ago.


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