Maximum Bob: We Like Designs Where People Are a Little Uncomfortable

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
maximum bob we like designs where people are a little uncomfortable

I'm guessing here, but I think GM Car Czar Bob Lutz was trying to impress Jerry Flint by suggesting GM needs bleeding edge car design. "We don't want people to say ‘I love this design, it's just great,' Lutz told the Forbes magazine columnist. "Because that means it is probably not going to last past when the car comes out… We want some checkmarks in the 'Too Much' column.'" While the "GM Hearts Bold Design" storyline echoes CEO Rick Wagoner's recent remarks (chronicled in our last General Motors Death Watch), it's a pretty major miscalculation for a company committed to building Camry-killers. Anyway, from whence cometh this avant garde automotive art? "A lot of these designs will be done outside the U.S.," Lutz said. "Where they never allowed themselves to slip to a lower standard, as they did here." Hang on; what's with the "they?" Doesn't Lutz mean "we?" Or maybe "I?" Anyway anyway, MB promises a new Buick LaCrosse that's going to be a real [Chinese made?] "mind-boggler." We're already there, Bob.

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  • Jjdaddyo Jjdaddyo on Dec 26, 2007

    Dude! Let's do lunch! It's like Tucker meets Titanic! Picture this: MB turns over the GM design studios to Carson Kressley and Jessica Simpson, while Donald Trump and Martha Stewart take over marketing! Meanwhile, the boys from Enron, Dennis Kozlowski and the dudes who write the Pentagon budgets are down in the basement cooking the books and handing out Golden Parachutes! I see a 50 share, baby! Tragically, I don't think I could gather any cast of losers who could run this ship aground any faster. To quote Stephen Colbert: "You're not re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, you're re-arranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg! You're SOARING!"

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Dec 26, 2007

    "Name a single GM vehicle in the past 10 years that had anything that could be considered cutting edge design. " Cadillac's Evoq concept car ushered in a very new direction for Cadillac design which seemed very radical when it came out. Now we are used to it, but the Art & Science design theme for Cadillac was indeed cutting edge ... and by all reports Lutz hated it when he first started working for GM :). Everything outside of Cadillac since then from GM has been blandtastic. The vehicles designed under Lutz's reign have mostly been better than their predecessors, but hardly have been bleeding edge designs in any way, shape or form.

  • Edgett Edgett on Dec 27, 2007

    The Evoq did have some interesting styling cues, which were then ruined when applied to the CTS; slightly better in the XLR, but nobody's going to point to that one in twenty years and say that it lead a movement... The Skystice ain't bad, except it doesn't actually work as a car. Even the geniuses at MG and Austin Healey managed to leave some trunk room to go with the despicable excuse for a folding top. Now the current 'vette is going in the right direction, but one would guess that it's only going that direction because that division manages to stay away from MB and the rest of the morons who "manage" GM. Hey Bob - how about we out-source YOUR job?

  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on Dec 27, 2007

    Larry Shinoda must be spinning in his grave.