Robert Farago Roasts Bob Lutz

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

My name is Robert Farago and I invented the nickname “Maximum” Bob Lutz. I crowned Bob with the title at the New York Auto Show, standing next to GM’s all powerful Car Czar at the urinal. I had no idea that a man could take that long to take a piss. You could spend GM’s entire development budget on niche vehicles in the time it takes Maximum Bob to empty his bladder. With similar results. I’m not saying Maximum Bob is old and decrepit, but when he offered to prostrate himself in front of the Presidential Task Force on Autos, he was asking them to fund an operation.

You may have heard Maximum Bob go on and on and on about the perception gap. Very few people realize that Bob actually suffers from failing eyesight. I’m not saying he can’t tell the difference between a Chevy Malibu and a Honda Accord. Oh, wait . . . I am.

Seriously, Bob Lutz will tell you straight out: General Motors makes the world’s best automobiles. I mean, now. Wait . . . NOW! Hang on . . . NOW! Here it comes here it comes give us $50 billion give us high tech research subsidies give us tax breaks for our factories bailout our union health care give us a $10 billion retooling loan and . . . NOW!

So why don’t people buy GM products instead of them American-made furrin’ automobiles? As Bob might say, it’s the stupid customers, stupid. Of course, calling your customers stupid is stupid. But now that taxpayers own GM, calling Maximum Bob stupid for calling GM customers stupid is stupid. You never know; he might go and blow a billion bucks building another Chevrolet SSR, just out of spite.

As we all know, Maximum Bob is no longer GM’s Car Czar. He’s surrendered the keys to the executive jet to become the nationalized automaker’s marketing maven. Which is a bit like hiring a cavity to promote fluoride. Or putting the Titanic’s first mate in charge of selling cruises to Antarctica.

But you got to admire Maximum Bob’s chutzpah. His first campaign challenges American car buyers with the slogan “May the Best Car Win.” Little known fact: he cribbed that campaign from The Detroit Lions’ “May the Best Football Team Win.” Personally, I would have gone with Monty Python’s “It’s Just A Flesh Wound.” But then Bob and King Arthur grew up together, and you gotta respect your homies.

I suppose no roast would be complete without mentioning Maximum Bob’s infamous “global warming is a crock of shit” remark. Clearly, Bob was trying to warn overzealous environmentalists about the disadvantages of trying to reclaim energy—and thus money—from freshly disgorged excrement. Who better to issue that kind of heads-up than the man in charge of developing HUMMER?

The Truth About Cars has an annual Bob Lutz Award. We give it to the car executive whose statements are so far divorced from reality they make a promise that the sun will rise in the west an entirely credible prediction. There’s no question that Maximum Bob will win again this year. And for that, we salute you Bob. We will miss you. We hope you’ll enjoy your bankruptcy-proof pension as much as Aveo owners enjoy their GM product.

Wait; this isn’t your retirement party? Well then let me put it this way . . . When the history of GM’s turnaround is written, the name “Maximum Bob” will figure prominently. Note to Lutz: you’ll find it in the large-print, fiction section.

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  • on Oct 25, 2009

    Hilarious, and most appropriate.

  • Accs Accs on Oct 31, 2009

    Mr Farago.. Back when he was a big deal at Chrysler... He said his company THEN was making the best cars. Lutz is a mouth piece.. a BIG ass DAMN, slow peeing, blind ass mo fo. Who probably couldnt tell an Accord from a Malibu. Bad for the Accord Good for the Malibu I kid I kid! Id also like to know.. Doesnt Wagoneer and Ghosn have the lacking personas?

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.