By on October 5, 2009

Take it from me kids...(detnews.com)

I actually think right now is the best time to pursue an automotive career because all of the domestic automobile companies have been through the cleansing fire of sharp retraction — getting ourselves competitive on wage cost, reducing capacity, getting rid of excess people and so forth … the UAW concessions on wages … etc. I see a genuine resurgence for the U.S. automobile companies, especially General Motors. So I think it’s a very good time to pursue a career.

Maximum Bob Lutz gives Northwood University students some of the worst career advice in recorded history [via MLive]. But to be fair, Lutz can imagine at least one scenario in which GM won’t regain its former glory…

Nobody has a decent crystal ball, and we could have [to downsize further]. … What if Iran launches a nuke and we get into a war with Iran and the economy goes in the toilet again? So, nobody knows about these things, but assuming what most people see as the way forward — and most economists — they would say that we’ve bottomed and we are on the way back up.

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25 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Leave Those Kids Alone Edition...”


  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Well, it could have been worse. He could have told them to become newspaper reporters.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Great, is GM hiring?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Rod –

    +1

    I’m with Lutz, actually. I’ve always thought the best time to get into a new business is during a downturn. You learn a lot in a very short timeframe.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    On a different topic…who else thinks that with a buzz cut, Lutz would be a shoo in for J. Jonah Jameson in the next Spiderman flick?

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    Lutz makes me sick. At least Rick Wagoner has not resurfaced after Obama’s minion showed him the door. But Lutz decides to stay, after being one of the key people responsible for running GM into the ground. Disgusting.

  • avatar
    6c1500

    Based on my experience, Bob Lutz is absolutely right. I started selling FIATS(!) in the depressed year of 1958. I didn’t earn much, but I got a fabulous education and went on to prosper in this great business. You naysayers remind me of all those who’ve called Piech crazy. Like a fox, I’d say.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Looks like a bit of a risky move. It may turn out to favor those getting into the education, or not. Perhaps GM has been handed a stack of the “get out of a downturn free” cards. If I really loved the Job and saw myself prospering with GM or not, I might take the chance. Its scares me though.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    I like Lutz. He tells it like it is, screw political correctness. A product man in a beancounter world.

  • avatar

    Matt51

    Or so he would have us believe.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    My own experience has been that you learn a lot more from failure than success, so you could get quite an education by getting into the auto business now. And you could get lucky catching a wave just at the right time.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    Lutz also reportedly told the students, “And if you decide against the auto industry, journalism is your next best bet.”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    A product man in a beancounter world.

    Yeah, pity he has no idea, nor intention of learning, what would actually make GM into a viable company

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    I like Lutz. He tells it like it is, screw political correctness. A product man in a beancounter world.

    I’d admire Lutz if he admitted that GM management made big mistakes. He blames others and other things. I don’t think that tells it like it is.

  • avatar
    Scottie

    Odd, I think KIA is the only car maker hiring anyone right now

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Perhaps Lutzspeak should be considered a reverse barometer for aspiring execs.

  • avatar

    Aaaaghhh… Dorkwood University! Where car dealers send their kids to learn to be… car dealers. How to pick out the right polyester slacks, apply hair oil, snort coke from a glovebox vanity mirror, that kind of thing.

    When I was a kid, I’d get my parents to take me to Dorkwood every year to see their on-campus new car show (I grew up nearby). A great place to gawk at all of the new cars, collect brochures, stickers and tons of other swag. And what an education on what over-privileged dickheads were like as they strutted in an uninhibited temple of smarm! There couldn’t be a more perfect place than Dorkwood for Maximum Bob to pontificate, based on everything I’ve heard or read about him.

    Despite the nasty environment, the car show was a lot of fun for a budding gearhead just because of all the cool new metal everywhere you looked. And I loved to get the fledgling car dealers into conversations and hear them tell me lies and misinformation about cars they obviously knew nothing about. I wouldn’t argue, I’d just egg them on to see how full of shite they were.

    Even as a kid, I knew that any cars that were open to the public were prepped to make sure loose objects like manuals and cig lighters were taken out ahead of time so people wouldn’t pilfer them. The year I was 13, one of the student car dealers apparently didn’t know that. He accused me of stealing all the cig lighters from a Cadillac and proceeded to make a scene and bodily threaten me. I tried to explain that they’d already been taken out before the show started, but he wouldn’t listen. What a swell fellow! I think he got into some hot water with the local gendarmes for that one.

    Meeee-mo-rieeees…

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Daanii2 :
    October 5th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Lutz makes me sick. At least Rick Wagoner has not resurfaced after Obama’s minion showed him the door. But Lutz decides to stay, after being one of the key people responsible for running GM into the ground. Disgusting.

    Wagoner didn’t exactly decide to leave. He’d still be there if not for the PTFOA kicking his F’n A to the C(urb). Lutz and everyone else hung on because they weren’t taken out.

    Matt51 :
    October 5th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I like Lutz. He tells it like it is, screw political correctness. A product man in a beancounter world.

    You may admire his frankness (and, really, how much growth for this very site has his senile rantings caused?), but he most certainly is not a realistic product man. The most successful mark of his tenure so far at GM is the almost-there Malibu and rental-queen LaCrosse (both generations, I’m betting).

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    He forgot to light his cigar.

  • avatar
    thebanana

    There’s something Freudian about that photo.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    NORTHWOOD U? Where the hell is that “U”? And does Lutz want to fill GM’s vacancies with… Northwood U alumni?

    How about giving a speech at MIT, “Minimum Bob”? Or at least at UM Ann Arbor (not Dearborn or Flint!)

    You don’t think it would attract much interest from the brainiacs there?

    LOL….

  • avatar
    texlovera

    @Autosavant:

    Do we give Lutz credit for knowing that that the UM kids are smarter than he is? :-)

  • avatar
    jaje

    I’m re-paraphrasing Lutz’s quote to what I think it should be “Because of the obtuse and ignorant management by GM (and our Detroit rivals) and myself as the act first, think second maverick I am – that we’ve run these companies into the ground and fired a lot of good people (when we really should have fired ourselves for extremely poor performance and lack of any accountability for inability to run a company) – so we have room to rehire some people we think b/c the gov’t gave us free money we could use as more rebates.

    When I see Lutz I think of what sound a vinegar and water truck would make if they collided. Douche.

  • avatar
    ton12

    leslie Nielsen?

    Looks like him.

    Sounds like him.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Cigar? Oh… Looked like a cutoff leaf rake handle to me… VBG!

    Perhaps Lutz walks and talks with a swagger but is as much of the apathetic GM establishment as the rest of them???

  • avatar
    Matt51

    I give him 10 points for smoking cigars. He turned Chrysler around by saving it from K car hell. I liked what he did for GM – vastly improved the product during his tenure. He started with garbage, and now GM is competitive.

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