Volt Birth Watch 13: Lutz "May" Retire When Volt Appears
For those of you who haven't yet sniggered, many industry observers are skeptical that Chevrolet electric – gas hybrid Volt will meet its publicly declared 2010 showroom target. So that means that Maximum Bob's AP "news flash"— "Automotive industry icon Robert A. Lutz wants to retire from General Motors Corp. after the company brings a plug-in electric car to market"– is unintentionally humorous. As the report inaccurately (accurately?) points out, "The company has set sometime in 2010 as a loose date to roll out the Volt." In advance of this momentous if Camaro-like announcement of the 75-year-old Car Czar's golden parachute unfurlment, the AP plays it both ways: icon worship and realistic assessment. "Lutz, who was hired in September of 2001 to reinvigorate GM's lackluster product designs, is widely credited with a resurgence in GM vehicles after two disastrous years in which it lost market share and more than $12 billion." And then "Still, GM sales are down 6.1 percent for the first 11 months of the year, with car sales dropping 8 percent and truck sales off 4.8 percent from the same period a year ago." But our favorite bit is this: "'You never know about your health. You never know about the needs of the corporation,' he said in his office at the company's design center. 'You never know what the board wants to do, or Rick wants to transition to a younger team. All of those things are possible.'" If Bob doesn't know what the board wants to do, who does?