Lutz Live Chat: The Race Is On, the Aveo Sucks, and GM PR "Emphasizes Strengths"

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bob Lutz’s latest Fastlane livechat was dominated by discussion of GM’s “May The Best Car Win” campaign. As you might imagine, things got . . . interesting. Right out of the gate, Lutz confirmed that he would be racing Jalopnik’s Wes Siler. He also more or less confirmed TTAC commentators’ suspicions that GM would, well, cheat. “We’ll see if age and treachery beat youth and skill one more time,” Lutz said, echoing sentiments expressed by a famous pop chanteuse of which he is no doubt unaware. You want more?

Lutz’s emphasis on GM’s halo brand’s halo car wasn’t distracting the livechat attendees. Well, not too much anyway. “Hi Bob! I realy liked gm latest ad w/ whitacre but I’m not sure if the May the best car win can apply to the chevy aveo…when is the replacement due?” asked Matteo Ronzoni.

You’ll notice that the Chevy Aveo, sound little car that it is, is not featured in the ads. Its replacement is on the way, and it’s going to be sensational, done by an international product development team. Obviously, we’re not revealing exact launch timing.

And that wasn’t the end of Lutz’s backhanded treatment of Chevy’s unloved compact. A commenter named Aldo posed the following question:

An important part of brand identity is uniformity within the brand. A Mercedes-Benz feels like a Mercedes-Benz, regardless if you’re in a C, SLK, E, GL, etc. An Aveo driver wouldn’t have any sense of familiarity in a Malibu. A Malibu driver wouldn’t recognize the inside of an Equinox as being a Chevrolet. And they all have a different feel on the road. Is brand cohesiveness going to play a large role going forward? Subaru, Honda, Toyota, and even Ford seems to have their brand DNA apparent on each and every vehicle.

To which Lutz replies:

I challenge your premise, with the possible exception of the Aveo, which is a Daewoo, I believe there is as much consistent brand DNA between a Malibu, an Equinox, a Traverse, etc., as there is through the Toyota lineup, where you can’t argue that a Highlander has much in common with say an FJ Cruiser.

So the Aveo is a Daewoo? Then why does it have a bowtie on it? And if the Aveo is a Daewoo abomination, what does that make the forthcoming Chevy Spark? But before trying to answer that, consider Bob’s attempt to be real about his own ability to be real. First came the question:

Hi Mr. Lutz: will these ads be honest in the since [sic] that they will highlight the weaknesses of your vehicles as well as the strengths? For instant the Malibu doesn’t have a built-in navi option but the Accord and Camry do?

Bob’s reply?

We wil [sic] emphasize our strengths and not our weaknesses and in that sense we’ll be just like everybody else. When you’re applying for a job, you don’t tell your potential employer all about your weak areas.

Bob followed up the last comment by stating that “If we could keep 50% or more [of GM’s dead brands’ business] we would declare vicctory [sic].”

And GM thinks these kinds of revelations will help the perception gap how?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Geeber Geeber on Sep 15, 2009
    M1EK: No doubt. Ford never actually convinced me they hated small car buyers and wanted them to go away the way GM has done. Ford seems to have had better experiences with small cars. The original Falcon outsold the Corvair, and never caused Ford embarrassment and grief, unlike the Corvair did for GM. Even the Pinto outsold the Vega, and didn't really have its reputation ruined until the Mother Jones article in 1978, or seven years after it debuted. And the Escort was a steady seller for Ford without causing any major headaches.
  • Ihatechevyaveo Ihatechevyaveo on Sep 22, 2009

    Matt51, I have an 09 aveo... it was a gift... never look a gift horse in the mouth... ya right... my mother bought it for me with the demand I sell my car... we haven't spoken in weeks. The daewoo aveo... er I mean chevy aveo rides like a 1979 ford pick up, if you are over 5 foot tall you don't fit in it, let alone anyone on the back seat, it's a 5 door two seater. the a/c shuts down when you press on the gas; and you have to press on the gas a lot, to get any momentum. It breaks rough, it sucks gas horribly... I'm going into debt trying to keep gas in it... at least $60.00 a week... DON'T EVERY GET AN AVEO! it will cost you more then it could ever be worth!!

  • Tassos Most people here who think it is a good idea have NO idea how much such a conversion costs. Hint: MORE than buying an entire new car.
  • Zipper69 Current radio ads blare "your local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer" and the facias read the same. Is the honeymoon with FIAT over now the 500 and big 500 have stopped selling?
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh hmmm get rid of the garbage engine in my chevy, and the garbage under class action lawsuit transmission? sounds good to me
  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):