GM Car Czar Bob Lutz: "We Faced Reality Last Week"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Get this: it wasn't last week. It was the week before. GM's Veep of Global Badge Engineering made this comment in an interview with Just-auto [sub] on the 23rd of July at the London Auto Show [sorry we missed it]. Given the $15.5b hole that opened-up in GM's second quarter financial results on the following Friday, I guess you could say Maximum Bob's remarks constitute pre-cataclysmic (post-modern?) irony. Anyway, the winner of TTAC's first annual Bob Lutz Award offered the usual grist for our collective mill. "The US press is full of pontifical analysts on television [Huntley Brinkley?] saying that the real problem with General Motors is that they are just not producing the vehicles that the American public wants. That's a complete fiction. We are producing the vehicles that the American public wants, we just can't produce enough of them because of the sudden swing in demand where all of a sudden everyone wants small passenger cars and a year ago everybody wanted big V8 trucks. We can't turn on a dime like that, but we'll get past that and our future product programmes are all in the pipeline and continue unabated." So, will The Big 2.8 make it? "We have a rough spot to get through in terms of liquidity…"

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 05, 2008

    With his ability to put so much spin on a downward spiralling market this guy would make a good running mate for McCain/Obama.

  • Nudave Nudave on Aug 05, 2008

    Hmmm...1972 gas crisis, 1979 gas crisis, 2008 gas crisis. Anyone see a pattern here? If GM, et al. couldn't see this "reality" coming with a 30+ year lead time they deserve whatever they get.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Aug 05, 2008

    Again, we can talk all day about GM's lack of strategy, but the problem's bigger than that. The company is choking on its own bile. It's culture doesn't foster building world class products. It's a company that lives quarter to quarter, even if it means chewing its left leg off to maximize stock price. They have no courageous leaders.

  • Galanwilliams Galanwilliams on Aug 05, 2008

    # Michael Karesh : August 4th, 2008 at 10:24 am The real deal: they always knew this market transformation might happen. But in the GM system, it’s not possible to get a budget approved to develop products for situations that MIGHT happen. It’s hard enough to get funding approved for virtually certain market scenarios. How many people skimp on life and even health insurance (or own none at all) because their budgets are tight? You know you have to pay the mortgage. You only might get sick or die. It’s like that. --- Of course, they could have done a LOT of R&D for that $15 billion in losses...---