By on July 11, 2009

Ex-Car Czar Bob Lutz has made the jump to hyperspace, joining New GM as . . . Car Czar. Of course, Bob can’t quite leave the Old School behind. More specifically, in keeping with CEO Fritz Henderson’s obsession with speed, he’s pre-pared excuses for failure on the forecourt. “There will have to be some form of economic recovery before any automobile company can hope to be profitable,” Lutz tells NPR. Perception gap much? Of course. All things considered, where’s the reinvention here?

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16 Comments on “Bob Lutz Speaks and Speaks and Speaks and Speaks and Speaks...”


  • avatar
    grog

    Hmmmm, many people here have constantly bemoaned the fact that there were too many people in top management without car experience or, in a stretch, manufacturing, experience.

    Now GM puts a car guy in management and look at what we get.

    Oh wait, it’s Lutz the Putz. Nevermind.

    Nice prom photo tho.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Is that his third wife Denise, or has he already moved on?

  • avatar
    shaker

    Nice trophy there, Bob.

    Poor guys like me end up with the lady cleaning up after dinner.

    I wish them well.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Prom photo? Third wife? Nothing like deep pithy comments from the saavy.

  • avatar
    6c1500

    I think it’s time someone spoke up in support of Bob Lutz. In that swamp of GM and government automotive know-nothings, a really smart guy who knows a good car from a bad one, can drive them ably, even on a race track, understands how cars are designed and built, and why people buy them, is surely an asset.
    And the fact that his wife is very smart, gracious, and attractive to boot just emphasizes the fact that in his personal life, as in his business life, his qualities and abilities attract the “Best and the Brightest”

  • avatar
    grog

    “His qualities and abilities”

    =

    Money.

  • avatar

    He’s flat wrong about what caused our problems leading to decline. It was the world’s worst marketing combined with a banker controlled Board that stripped us of assets and buried us in debt.

  • avatar
    lw

    “There will have to be some form of economic recovery before any automobile company can hope to be profitable,”

    Perfecto. We have another truth laid bare.

    Let me restate this for some clarity.

    “Obama owns the economy and so if we aren’t profitable it’s his fault. So unless he wants his $50B to be wasted, he will give us more $$ until he decides to fix the economy.”

    God Bless Government Motors!

  • avatar

    Lutz could not be more wrong about dealers not being replaced by direct Internet sales. Ask your local newspaper, bookstore, and consumer electronics retailer how that strategy worked for them?

    All it will take is ONE manufacturer to truly develop that channel and the house of (marked) cards that is the dealer network will collapse. If I were Nissan, or Kia, or some other minority market-share player (or hell, why NOT GM?) I’d be in negotiations with Jeff Bezos to build my new sales channel already.

    Car buying is such an annoying process under the current system. No other consumer purchase is as frustrating and fraught with stress as wrangling a dealer for a car. It is time for it to die. The Hyper Text Transport Protocol is precisely the right executioner.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Ask your doctor if Viagra is right for you!

    -ted

  • avatar
    agroal

    It must be nice to be Mrs. Lutz. All the Bondo you want for free. Is she smiling? Is she crying? Tough to tell.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    In other news, the “New GM” has announced that it’s bringing back Rick Wagoner and Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    grog

    Chuck:

    +1

    Update: A step in that direction: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D99BQT600.htm

    Kinda a half step but still.

  • avatar
    relton

    Let me get this straight.

    1. RF spends time with his family, playing badmitton with his daughter.

    2. Lutz returns to GM.

    There has to be a connection, some kind of a deal. After all, TTAC needs Lutz, as the subject of more hilarious articles, more than GM needs Lutz.

    I smell a rat.

    Bob Elton

  • avatar
    vento97

    I smell a rat.

    If some of the old guard return to the GM Executive Fold (like Wagoner), we’ll smell more than one rat…

    “If it looks like a rat, squeaks like a rat, and smells like a rat – it’s a skunk…”

  • avatar

    vento97

    As Eddy said, Lutz is probably taking this job simply to keep his jets fueled. He may have zero real power (save keeping the press corps entertained).

    And, lest we forget, ex-CEO Rick Wagoner is still on GM’s payroll. His $20 million pension is currently the source of much angst and, most probably, negotiation.

    As I’ve reported before, Wagoner’s pension payout puts the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles between a rock and a hard place.

    If they don’t pay him something approaching his twenty, the man knows where ALL the bodies are buried. If they do, Obama’s ownership will look like fat cat’s paradise. A fate so horrible they’re creating a Pay Czar, of all things.

    Look for GM to try and slip this one under the radar on a busy news day. And keep your eyes on Lutz. Will the Pontiac G8 get the promised reprieve as a Caprice? If it doesn’t, well, that tells you that he’s just a well-paid (how much?) figurehead.

    And TTAC is there.

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