Volt Birth Watch 15: St. Bob

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Going one better than Jerry Flint's Lutz-lust, Newsweek's Keith Naughton nominates GM's Car Czar for canonization. The business reporter's prose soars to celestial heights, enshrining Maximum Bob as the savior of the American auto industry. Yea, verily, Maximum Bob single-handedly "seeks to redefine the automobile with the Chevy Volt." And lo, St. Lutz' road to Damascus was full of potholes. "When Lutz first proposed creating an electric car in 2003, the idea 'bombed' inside GM, he says. 'I got beaten down a number of times.' So in 2006, Lutz formed a skunkworks team of engineers and designers to quickly cobble together the Chevy Volt concept car, which became the star of the 2007 Detroit Auto Show." Cobbled? Ye of little faith!

"And then he persuaded the brass to greenlight the Volt for production by arguing that they must try to seize the green high ground from Toyota." Uh, I thought Lutz WAS the brass. Anyway, Naughton perpetuates the myth that the Volt will hit the market in 2010 and sell below $30k– a piece of PR prognostication that Maximum Bob has recently abandoned. Still, it's nice to know St. Bob's journalistic acolytes are still willing to make that leap of faith, even if he isn't.

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  • S is for Supra S is for Supra on Dec 27, 2007

    I still would love to have him as a grandpa, what a hoot. Talks out of his ass half the time but at least he isn't the snake oil salesman type you see a lot as a mouthpiece.

  • Moraviapils Moraviapils on Dec 27, 2007

    Savior? HA! The Volt hasn't been delivered yet, so I don't see how it redefines anything. When (if?) it comes out, then we'll talk about how Bob has "saved" the U.S. auto industry. However, I have a feeling that by 2010 it won't be the messiah-car that people expect.

  • KixStart KixStart on Dec 27, 2007

    Both the Forbes and Newsweek articles are really funny when juxtaposed with Lutz' recent comment about Toyota's execs ending up with egg on THEIR faces. And Lutz was pushing EVs? In 2003? And nothing has happened since? Except to fall behind Toyota? I'll bet a quarter there's a few people back at GM, the real EV champs that got shoved aside, that got steaming mad when they read that line. In the Forbes article, Lutz goes on at some length about the difficulties of making the 35mpg standard. Does Lutz know that if the Camry (hybrid) was Toyota's only product, they'd be at that standard today? That's a pretty decent-sized car to be selling at the 35mpg mark. Honda could do the same with an I-4 hybrid Accord. Or their clean diesel. Lutz doesn't seem to see GM hitting that standard without going to tiny cars. How visionary is that?

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Dec 27, 2007