Everything Sells At The Right Price… Even Bob Lutz's Advice!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

An earlier report, stating that Bob Lutz would be returning to GM as a consultant was true… but so was the news that Treasury opposed GM’s plans to pay its longtime executive, who retired a little over a year ago. Speaking to the press at the New York Auto Show, Maximum Bob confirms that he is on the board of Lotus, and revealed that he is doing “pro-bono” work as a consultant for GM’s new product development boss, Mary Barra. According to Automotive News [sub], the prospect of Lutz returning as a GM consultant ( ala Fritz Henderson) caused such a stir at Treasury, that he decided to work informally at GM, without pay. Given that Lutz’s heavily-hyped products have yet to return GM to steady retail market share growth, perhaps GM is finally paying him what he’s worth?

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  • Mtypex Mtypex on Apr 23, 2011

    I may be back at GM soon too, as a contractor again. Seriously, someone please get me the hell out of Detroit.

  • Corky Boyd Corky Boyd on Apr 24, 2011

    Say what you want about Lutz, he is one of the few people at GM who has the innate ability to look at a car and see whether it will connect with the public of not. Has he made mistakes? Sure. The Prowler at Chrysler was a bomb. But the Viper sure wasn't. Nor was the Grand Cherokee. GM needs Bob Lutz more than Lutz needs GM.

    • Dr Lemming Dr Lemming on Apr 24, 2011

      The Viper wasn't a bomb? I question whether it ever made Chrysler a dime. More importantly, the Viper was a waste of money even as a halo car. It's styling was something that only a 12 year old could love. It's engineering was downright neanderthal compared to its competition. The Viper did nothing to burnish Chrysler's reputation . . . except to suggest that it's executives had decidedly crass taste in sports cars and a weak reality baseline as to where the market was going. You might also add to the list of Lutz mistakes the utterly futile attempt to launch the Eagle brand. When Chrysler bought AMC its dealer network should have been quickly folded into Chrysler's, but Lutz wanted to pair Jeep with an upscale brand that competed against the imports. That was an epic fail. Lutz never made it to the top at Chrysler because he displayed shaky judgment. If GM needs that then they must have a remarkably deep and pervasive talent drain. Perhaps they can borrow a few executives from Kia.

  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Apr 24, 2011

    Seems as though many of us agree that Lutz is good at creating niche products that build image. But what GM currently needs is more volume products that build profits.

  • MikeAR MikeAR on Apr 24, 2011

    Lutz is a very talented person, he has an almost unmatched talent for self-promotion. He was a matchless car journalist-ass kisser. He had the talent to get in front of a good idea and pretend that it was his own and he could dance away from blame for a failed program like no one else. His niche products were for the most part press darlings but money losers in sales. It is truly amazing to look at his career and how he has managed to skate from one failure to another without ever being held accountable. Judge him by the results, what he left behind and he is one of the worst car executives ever.

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    • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Apr 24, 2011
      His niche products were for the most part press darlings but money losers in sales. I agree, and I'll add that they were usually half-baked. The Solstice (and the Sky, of course) were nice-looking, and priced well. But 26 years after Mazda produced its first Miata, the Solstice came to market with a Rube Goldberg-inspired convertible top, and an unusable trunk. Fanboys (and girls) claimed, "But it's not a primary vehicle!" True, but what's the point of a roadster that can't accommodate the two occupants' small overnight bags for a weekend trip?