By on March 31, 2017

Bob Lutz

If you’re unfamiliar with Bob Lutz, it’s likely that you’re a recent addition to the world of automotive enthusiasm. Allow me to be the first to welcome you. The rest of us have been following Lutz’s career shift from extremely outspoken auto executive to extremely outspoken car blogger for years. Now 85, he hasn’t become any less critical of the industry after entering his “retirement,” nor has his advanced age done much to soften his frank rhetoric.

Love or hate him, Lutz’s time spent jumping between the Big Three has provided him with unique insights — and he always has plenty to say on the current state of the American automotive industry. His most recent revelations circle around the unsustainable nature of Tesla and his growing distaste for president Trump, despite his having voted for him. 

Speaking with Bobby at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Los Angeles Times probed him on electric cars and what his former EV advocacy allows him to discern about the future of Elon Musk’s Tesla.

“I don’t know why it is that otherwise intelligent people can’t see what’s going on there. They lose money on every car, they have a constant cash drain, and yet everybody talks as if this is the most miraculous automobile company of all time,” Lutz said.

He continued by expressing how Tesla’s distinctive product could easily be mimicked by other automakers. Most manufacturers already have competitive electric vehicles already in development or on the road, something Lutz was careful to point out. But he doesn’t see all-electric vehicles as a viable option for any company’s chief product. Tesla’s autonomous features are its ace-in-the-hole, but the practical application of those features is still years away.

“Raising capital is not going to help, because fundamentally the business equation on electric cars is wrong. They cost more to build than what the public is willing to pay. That’s the bottom line.”

While Lutz does concede that Tesla offers a gorgeous and intriguing option in the Model S, the rest of its lineup won’t be enough to carry it onward — especially since he doesn’t foresee EV demand improving at the same rate some of the more optimistic market research speculates.

When General Motors stopped running consumer trials of the mass-produced EV1 electric car in the late 1990s, Lutz famously said, in an interview with Charlie Rose, that the vehicle cost over $250,000 to produce and was being leased for only $300 per month. Afterward, he began pushing for the Chevrolet Volt as an all-electric but admitted that there were notable advantages to hybridization.

Lutz says he remains a proponent of electric cars but doesn’t have a lot of faith in the mainstream market. He especially doesn’t believe consumers will flock to EVs while fuel remains affordable. “I’m a longtime proponent of federal taxation on motor fuels, and the time to do it is now, when gas prices are low,” he said. “You put 25 cents on and there’s a big hue and cry, but by the time the midterm elections roll around it’s forgotten. I’d dedicate the 25 cents a gallon to infrastructure.”

Bob actually seemed fixated on the dire need to improve America’s infrastructure throughout the interview, something the president often cited in his own campaign promises. However, with some overlap on decreasing corporate taxes and rolling back regulations, that’s about the extent of what the two men agree on. Despite voting for him, Lutz had plenty of negative things to say about Donald Trump.

“If I had any influence over him, which I don’t, I would strongly encourage him to stop that, especially the angry tweets. Let’s face it, it’s juvenile. What is he, 71 or 72? You’d think he’d have developed a thicker skin.”

He went on to say that he feels the president is approaching the North American Free Trade Agreement entirely wrong. “The problem isn’t Mexico. Mexico, automotively, is to a large extent a two-way street. We export a lot. And our Mexican plants take our components and ship them all over the world,” Lutz explained. “Mexico was part of the salvation of the American auto industry against the Japanese. If he wants to look at unfair trade, he should look at Europe. They essentially ship tax-free vehicles to the United States [without reciprocation].”

[Image: General Motors]

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98 Comments on “Old Man Lutz Weighs in on Donald Trump, Tesla Motors, and the State of the U.S. Auto Industry...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Alphas seldom age well, do they?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Roger Penske, recently turned 80, seems to be doing pretty well.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Good point, reminding me to never say “never”.

        • 0 avatar
          vtnoah

          I did some work for the Penske Organization. Roger’s an absolute beast. He visits all 180+ of his dealerships at least once a year and does an in depth review of their business while there. He’s got a one on one relationship with every GM of those dealerships too. When I would talk to those GM’s they’d say, “Yep, just got off the phone with Mr. Penske, this is what we’re gonna do” all the time. Bottom line, that guy’s going to the grave kicking and screaming.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            My cousin went to high school with The Captain in Cleveland. She said even then, it was obvious he’d be a big success.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Paul Newman would disagree.

      Sir Richard Branson would disagree.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In Canada we threw out a government that proposed an 18 cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax termed ‘short term pain for long term gain’.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Reminds me of what happened in Minnesota a few years back. Their legislature refused to pass a bill which would have raised gas taxes to fix roads and bridges in the state. Their governor (I’ll just leave it to your imagination what party he was in) hailed this as a big victory for freedom, democracy and the American way, as I recall.

      Not long after, the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River…due to disrepair issues.

      I’m sure the dozen or so folks who died in the collapse all went to their watery deaths grateful as hell that their last tank of gas cost them $1.74 less.

      People are penny wise and pound foolish. Count on it.

      • 0 avatar
        Ihatejalops

        Because no Blue state with high taxes has poor infrastructure. You’re not very bright Mike. (Minnesota is a blue state).

        • 0 avatar
          aquaticko

          I don’t see him having explicitly mentioned anywhere what color state Minnesota was.

          If anything brings all of us Americans together, its our stupidity about infrastructure spending and gas taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            nothing will bring us together. if you’re poor, you’re a worthless drain on society. if you’re middle class, you are a saint to be extolled and fellated at every opportunity. and if you’re wealthy, you’re a god who deserves every dollar you own. and you *use* the middle class to further your hatred of the poor.

            the main thing which has divorced me from religion is the religious. Gandhi is supposed to have said “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Jesus Christ was a nice guy who said we should all treat each other the way we would want others to treat us. I spent 13 years in Catholic school hearing that, and I still believe it..

            Unfortunately, the 70 year old infants we’ve elected believe in Republican Jesus who advocates hatred against people we don’t like.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            When it comes to roads and bridges, and many other amenities, the old saying goes: “You don’t always get what you pay for, but don’t expect to get what you don’t pay for either. If you do, you’re either a sucker or a thief.”

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        ….And that their overlords’ six figure pensions are properly “funded.” Instead of the money they already pay in taxes, because “like, without taxes we don’t have, like, roads and stuff,” being prioritized to keep the bridges they drive on from collapsing.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        FreedMike – the Minnesota bridge didn’t collapse because of a lack of repairs, it collapsed because it was under repair and too much structural material was taken out during the rebuilding process, which weakened it and caused the collapse. Gas taxes had nothing to do with that collapse, although I certainly think that gas taxes for road infrastructure is generally a good idea. But you also have to remember that most of those reports stating the poor quality of our roads and bridges are authored by road builders associations that benefit directly from more road spending, and more objective assessments are usually less pessimistic.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Had only President Bill Clinton better funded our military, we wouldn’t have had 9/11.

        (See how stupid that sounds)

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Any improvement since in Minnesota under the alcoholic Governor? No?

        Didn’t think so.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        You should do some research on Gandhi, JimZ. His views on a myriad of subjects would appall a guy like you.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      That was a long time ago. This year in Ontario an equivalent increase was implemented as a “carbon tax” and nobody noticed.

      • 0 avatar
        TDIandThen....

        “That was a long time ago. This year in Ontario an equivalent increase was implemented as a “carbon tax” and nobody noticed.”

        Good. Most voters won’t pay anything for the first few years (because it’s large-emitters first), and if the government is re-elected they’ll hopefully be forced by the Federal mechanism to return the carbon tax annually to consumers in tax refunds. I’m as cynical as the next but there’s a fair chance this one will work.

  • avatar
    Forward looking

    This is the end of fossil fuels, Dinosaurs like Bob Lutz and Republicans. Welcome to the future of Tesla and the electric car. No stopping electric now!

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Do you own an EV?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      What is the end of fossil fuels? $2/gallon gas, increasingly cheap natural gas, and the perpetual disproving of peak oil?

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        sporty, really? “The perpetual disproving of peak oil”? New petroleum and natural gas reserves are not being made, and math has not been repealed.

        The more fossil fuel we extract, the less will be left. In the long view, destroying our water supply in order to temporarily band-aid our finite fossil-fuel supply through fracking will prove a disastrous deal with the devil (not to mention, one that wasn’t even necessary if we’d said no to the oil and gas industries and proceeded full speed ahead with solar and other nondestructive technologies).

        They only made so many dinosaurs, you know. And yes, we’re using ’em up pretty fast.

        I laugh similarly when I hear people say that Malthus’s prediction, that overpopulation will eventually kill us all, has also been “disproven.” Delaying and denying the inevitable won’t prevent it – it’ll just make it land twice as hard. I’m a car enthusiast or I wouldn’t be attached leechlike to this site like all the rest of us, but some things are just too obvious to avoid.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Malthus is just beginning to pertain in the lands of his deniers and Drumpf’s victory is an early symptom.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          “. . . if we’d said no to the oil and gas industries and proceeded full speed ahead with solar and other nondestructive technologies).”

          We can’t just decide that certain technologies are viable. They need to stand on their own merit.

          If anybody really cared, we’d stop wasting so much entertaining and impressing ourselves with consumption while oil/gas replacement technology matures. But I think, deep down, everybody knows we’re somewhat doomed and just wants to keep the party going as long as possible. There’s no reason for any individual to stop clamoring to consume as many resources as he can. If he doesn’t, somebody else will.

          It’s all good news now
          Because we left the taps, running, for a hundred years
          So drink into the drink
          Plastic cap drink
          Drink with the purple
          The people, the plastic eating people
          Still connected to the moment it began

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “This is the end of fossil fuels, Dinosaurs like Bob Lutz and Republicans. Welcome to the future of Tesla and the electric car. No stopping electric now!”

      …except a power outage affecting some remote truckstop with the only “supercharger” within 200 miles…..

      Since we’re all hippies holding hands and synchronizing with Gaja, why can’t the Tesla and the Mustang just all get along?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …This is the end of fossil fuels…

      Serously? What do you think drives much of the electrical generation in the US? That would be coal and natural gas, and to a much lesser extent, oil. So your electric car is not really emission-free; you’ve just moved the source of the emissions to the power plant.

      If the push for renewables was able to continues its growth, you would bring those fossil fuel demand down, but they still won’t go away. And with the new rules that allow for dirty coal plants to become even dirtier, electrics will not really help anything. And the almost certain elimination of tax credits and the like on renewables, the industry will likely be dealt a big blow. Too bad because the industry that employs 650,000 people was very close to being mature enough to stand on its own.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        1. An EV is agnostic about its source of electricity, it doesn’t /have/ to come from fossil fuels. An ICE is limited to fossil fuels.

        2. Most electricity in the US is still generated by fossil fuels, but it’s getting lower and lower every day.

        3. Even when the electricity is generated by coal, the efficiencies of an EV mean it’s using less fossil fuel energy to travel as far as a comparable ICE vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Plus, if you accidently drip some electrons on your trouser cuff or shoe you won’t be smelling them the whole effing rest of the day!

        • 0 avatar
          tnk479

          “An ICE is limited to fossil fuels.”

          What about bio fuels?

          “Most electricity in the US is still generated by fossil fuels, but it’s getting lower and lower every day.”

          Your characterization seems a bit off to me.

          https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30592

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “If I had any influence over him, which I don’t, I would strongly encourage him to stop that, especially the angry tweets. Let’s face it, it’s juvenile. What is he, 71 or 72? You’d think he’d have developed a thicker skin.”

    I picture any conversation between Lutz and Trump starting with Lutz saying: “Now look, Sonny…”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Regarding Tesla:

    1. They absolutely must become profitable with the Model 3, or it’s game over. The CUV Model Y won’t save them if the Model 3 flops on the P&L sheet. The Gigafactory is key to their profitability, particularly as it recycles old batteries to save on material costs. Other EV mfrs will not have this edge.

    2. The Supercharger network is a real advantage for the company, being the only one that enables you to drive almost anywhere in the US or southern Canada with a Tesla vehicle. No other charging network does that, and all these other 200+ mile EVs are on a short leash as a result, so their sales volume will be low.

    3. I suspect Tesla has become ‘too big to fail’. There are enough investors and fans to prevent their demise. Does anyone truly envision a closure of the Fremont plant and the Gigafactory, while Musk simply walks away and says “well, guess that didn’t work out”?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      1) It’s interesting to me that the upcoming Tesla 3 model is a medium sedan configuration – the market slot where demand is falling most in the rest of the NA industry.

      2) Once the Supercharger isn’t a free ride (ie the Model 3) does it really have any competitive advantage?

      3)Depends on who Musk has been donating campaign money to and who is in charge of govt when he needs help. If it’s Democrats, his anti-UAW policy would likely be a death star.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      SCE to AUX, if making electric cars was profitable, other manufacturers besides Tesla would do more than build a few government compliance models. There’s a reason that they let Tesla have that market. Bob Lutz is arguing that there aren’t enough customers willing to pay a large price premium for an electric car to make designing and manufacturing electric cars a profitable ongoing business. Tesla requires constant infusions of outside money to stay in business.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @George B: “if making electric cars was profitable, other manufacturers besides Tesla would do more than build a few government compliance models.”

        You seem to have missed the Mercedes EQ series announcements, the Volvo announcements, the VW announcements, and Porsche. Nissan, an “other manufacturer”, will launch the 200+ mile range Leaf in the fall and there are rumors they will be aggressive with the price. The estimates on the costs of the batteries are off. Battery cost has been coming down and there are big manufacturing cost reductions due to process improvements coming down the line.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ve explained my Infrastructure Tax Plan here before:

    Tax = Vehicle Weight x Miles driven x Tax Rate

    This would be managed by the annual state vehicle registration process.

    But it will never happen, so just keep on raising the gas tax, which here in PA is now $0.582/gal, plus $0.184/gal for the Feds – the highest in the country. Diesel here is taxed $0.747/gal, plus $0.244 for the Feds, again, by far the highest in the country. And PA’s infrastructure continues to crumble.

    Rising CAFE numbers will only worsen the problem.

    When I get my next EV, I won’t pay any of it, even though a fairer system would require me to.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      SCE, There’s one problem with your plan: It would require that lawmakers not divert funds from your ITP and spend them elsewhere.

      The issue goes from what makes good public policy sense to whether you trust elected officials to do what they say they’ll do.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Absconding with state revenue?! Scandalous!

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Your plan is a pretty good foundation. I disagree with the idea of higher fuel taxes if those taxes are being set to act as a deterrent to consumption. The reason I feel that way is the punitive nature of it penalizes those who choose to own an efficient car. I’d much rather set a penalty/surcharge based on average EPA mileage rating. This way, if you choose to buy a car that gets 35 mpg, you get a yearly rebate check. Drive a vehicle that gets 17? You write a yearly check.

          I’m ok with a fuel tax being put in a lock box for infrastructure spending, but unless a provision is made for preventing the raiding of the fund for the general fund, I won’t trust our elected officials from misappropriating the funds.

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            Golden:
            Just like Soc. Rec. money was taken and spent on other areas…. but that’s OK because the Gov. gave us an IOU

  • avatar
    mason

    “I’d dedicate the 25 cents a gallon to infrastructure.”

    That probably doesn’t need to happen, or if it does not at 25 cents a gallon. Currently better than 30 states put forth substantially more into the highway trust fund in the form of fuel taxes than they receive back from Uncle Sam including, you guessed it, Minnesota.

  • avatar

    Big Three Alright… Overrated, Underperforming, Failure.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    Bob Lutz didn’t just work for the Big 3. He worked for BMW as well. When he speaks, we should listen. I don’t agree with everything he says but he has played a role in bringing us some of the greatest cars ever produced. He may have denied global warming, but he lobbied for GM to build the Volt so he knows what goes into electric car production. His opinion carries a lot weight weather you agree with it or not.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Once Porsche and other luxury marques make electric cars that outperform Tesla for less money with more factory support, Elon Musk & Co. is toast.

    • 0 avatar
      SOF in training

      Porsche can’t build a car for less money than Tesla, not and keep their $17,000 per car profit, and why should they? Also, How many really care about a couple tenths of a second?

      But what will give Tesla the best chance of success is the Supercharger network. They are installing ten slots in my local Fred Meyer (Kroger) at the moment. I think many will be swayed when they see Supercharger stations on their travels, or look at the online map. What will Porsche, MB, BMW, or any others have to compare?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @SOF: What will Porsche, MB, BMW, or any others have to compare?

        Actually, I read somewhere that the European manufacturers might be joining the supercharger network. VW is developing “Charge America” in the US and I think they’ll have the new 800v 350+ kW charging as well. As an EV owner, based on my driving over the past few years, with a 200 or 300-mile range EV I’d never need public charging anyway.

        I’m tentatively planning on a Porsche EV, but I’m expecting it to cost much more than a fully loaded P100D. In fact, I’m concerned about it breaking the $200k mark which might get me to look again at the P100D. Also, with a Porsche I’m fully expecting to need that “more factory support” given my past history with German cars.

  • avatar
    Barndoors4life

    I hope Telsa is successful and the EV market as a whole really takes off. Or a larger company rips off their ideas and mass produces a popular EV/charging network that takes off. Then if we are finally able to switch to renewable power sources in a significant way it would better for the environment, no matter how you rationalize it, than ICE powered vehicles. Best of all it will result in much cheaper gas prices for my G-body Monte SS, square body C10 and daily driven suburban Z71. Yes I realize that sounds hypocritical but at a certain point we’re going to need to separate the people that look at vehicles at a mode of transportation from the auto enthuasts. Let the average consumer have an autonomous EV commute and I’ll enjoy cheap fuel for whatever insane LSX swapped beast I’ll be driving. Everybody wins!

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      This guy looks on the bright side of life!

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Doubt fuel prices would go down since it would be a specialty product in anew EV dominant world.

      I’don’t be fine with that in any event even if it costs 200 bucks to fill the 15 gallon tank on my Mustang.

      By that time autonomous vehicles will probably be the norm and you’ll have to trailer your vintage fuel burning self driver to the track of your choice.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        That Canadian oil flow is being tested as we comment. We have soooo much oil coming in to the US that a lot of it will be sold or further exported.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “We have soooo much oil…”

          From what I’ve heard, the Feds are keeping fuel prices from getting too cheap. It’s a matter of national security. As it is, there’s a sharp rise in highway deaths tolls.

          I realize “saving money” has little or nothing to do with hybrids and EVs, for some buyers, but the vast majority of US (private) car owners will simply drive more, rather than *bank* the savings.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “the Feds are keeping fuel prices from getting too cheap.”

            Wouldn’t surprise me. But wildcatters have always been able to supply the market and make money, even if the big boys lost money bringing the oil to market.

            What we don’t want is to ever go back to the days before fracking where we had to import crude just to make our daily bread.

            I’m all for every kind of energy, including solar, wind, nuclear, thermal, wave, coal, natgas, oil, cowfarts. Whatever. Let’s use it all.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    The EV haters better remind themselves we’re just one Middle East war away from huge gas price hikes. It’s not “if”, it’s “when”.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Aside from Saudi Arabia you have to go down to #7 on the oil producers list to find another ME country, UAE.

      financesonline.com/top-10-oil-producing-countries-in-the-world-wheres-the-greatest-petroleum-dominion/

      But there’ll be incessant minor wars in the ME countries that don’t matter, yeah.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “The EV haters better remind themselves we’re just one Middle East war away from huge gas price hikes.”

        what “is” next….

        It’s called frackin’ son, and there are countless mom and pop companies just waitin’ to turn the spigot back on in the good ol’ US of A when the price of a barrel of oil dictates. No doubt it will be higher than where we are currently at, but the days of $4 a gallon gas are behind us for the foreseeable future.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      meh. I can afford it.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      A Middle East war would increase the price of a barrel of crude, because the price is set by speculators more than supply and demand. There’s always a kneejerk reaction to the latest headlines.
      It’s like pork belly futures – the price isn’t really related to how many Ball Park Franks your family eats, but other market forces that are often just how someone thinks the wind is blowing, or how some computer somewhere interprets stock market data or what the Fed just might possibly do with interest rates next week.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Gas tax is just lazy policy. I’m one of the people who wouldn’t mind paying it, especially if it went entirely to infrastructure projects, but when you look at the related economics it’s a nightmare. Fuel taxes cause inflation, and they put strain on the lower middle class. Federal gasoline excise also puts stress on state budgets, which often causes states to re-up their own fuel taxes.

    Gasoline tax is the hydra. Hurts lower middle class. Causes antipathy between taxing authorities. Doesn’t lead to advanced automotive technologies as seen in Europe.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    By the time Bob Lutz arrived at GM it was already too late to save Oldsmobile. Imagine what the division would look like today under his guidance. Heck, there might even have been a 2008 Toronado!
    In the meantime I’ll keep my six Oldsmobiles running in great shape.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    If high gasoline taxes drive EV adoption, why isn’t Europe awash in EVs?

    “Does anyone truly envision a closure of the Fremont plant and the Gigafactory, while Musk simply walks away and says “well, guess that didn’t work out”?”

    No, first Musk will sell out to a Chinese company, after which Tesla will wither on the vine for a decade or two; then they’ll close the plants.

    I agree Tesla’s future hinges on the Model 3. Anything less than a home run would be disaster.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      Native Californian here–lived in Fremont for a while–and no particular Tesla fan, but my guess is that if Tesla is ever ‘on the ropes’ financially the State of California will bail them out (probably with an increase of licensing fees for ICEs). CA has too much invested in TESLA, emotionally and financially, to let it fail.

  • avatar
    slap

    I used to be for higher gas taxes. But I found out that the federal government and the states don’t use all of the gas tax money for road repair – some of it gets spent on other (non highway) government spending. Raising gas taxes doesn’t mean that there will be more money for road repair – they already don’t spend all of the gas tax money on the roads. And since gas taxes hurt the poor and lower middle classes the most, it isn’t good policy.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @slap…Right…Here in Ontario we pay nearly 25 cents a litre (roughly 68 cents USD on a US gallon. ) That funding is supposed to be dedicated to road repair, and infrastructure…Instead is just goes into general funds.

      Our infrastructure is decaying , just like it is in the United Sates. For years they told us “the gas tax we pay eliminates , the need for toll roads” ..Today we have “toll roads ” and they’re building more.

      A few years ago we had an elected Premier that promised he wouldn’t raise taxes. Two years onto his mandate.they introduced a dedicated Health Care Tax. Upward to $ 750 per adult per year.

      The unions, both public sector, and private sector, argued that this wasn’t a tax. The unions position was that the tax, was actually an Insurance premium. Under collective agreements employers were obligated to cover insurance premiums.

      The public sector unions won their case, and the government agreed to pay their employees tax/ insurance premium. Private sector unions lost….When the then CAW approached GM…GM laughed them out of the office.
      “You guys honestly think we’re going to pay your memberships taxes” End of story, but wait there is more.

      So one would think this dedicated Health Care Tax would vastly improve our Health Care System ??

      No.. the money went down the rat hole of “general funds”….Today our Health Care System is crumbling around us, at a faster rate then it ever was.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Agree with everything he says about Tesla and Trump. The gas tax is hypothetical talk today.

  • avatar
    redapple

    assume Gas was $0.29/gal in 1968. Adjusted for inflation that would be $2.03/gal now.

    Does this make any sense to anyone>? Same price more or less? Conserve oil now. Because…..
    It pollutes the environment.
    It enriches our enemies in the middle east.
    It is a finite resource without replacement/substitution.

    Gas Tax increase needed now. Kill the EPA 55 MPG mandate.
    Cars are used for 20 years. It ll take forever for the MPG improvements to kick in.
    Higher gas cost will reduce driving now. EncouraGE sensible car buying.
    Reduce the BRO Dozers
    Pay for road improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      People should drive the vehicles I approve of, not what they want!!!!

      Take your “sensible” car buying and shove it where the sun don’t shine. I can’t think of anything more sensible than a crew cab 4×4 pickup. Its good at almost everything, powerful engine, tows boats/quads, has no issues with snow/rain, loves 2 rut roads, lasts forever, has an airy greenhouse with low beltline, burns E85, isn’t FWD, is extremely safe, and has high resale value.

      “It is a finite resource without replacement/substitution.”

      The E85 sitting in my gas tank right now seems to be a replacement/substitution considering the truck operates almost exclusively off it.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    On 04-01-2017 at 1529 hours CDT the existing TTAC threads announced that they are tired and wish to die.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Oh personalities.. Lutz & Trump. Trump, king of his castle, has gone out driving. His presidency is a hood ornament and Lutz the gas gauge.

  • avatar
    raincoconuts

    Maximum Bob still blowing innuendo. Funny he should talk about unsustainable business plans..he worked for Chrysler, GM, BMW all in death throes until he left. Bob’s always the been among the best Auto industry soundbites providing irrelevant filler for journalists of every genre. The cigar probably authenticates his blow..Go Bob GO!

  • avatar
    Rday

    Can’t we just go and forget about this old windbag? He and his “old gm’ have been completely discredited and need to go away for good. Why does TTAc still spend time on guys like him, Sylvio, and other con men that rip off hard working americans and take their money while delivering inferior products.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Rday, whether you love him or hate him, Bob Lutz DESERVES RESPECT! This guy was in the thick of it during the US auto industry’s most difficult times.

      Sure, his calls weren’t always the greatest, but that’s what happens when someone has to make the big decisions. We ALL have made some bad decisions during our lifetimes.

      Lutz got his reputation, good, bad or indifferent, the old fashioned way: he worked for it.

      BTW, I’m NOT a GM fan, so don’t get your underwear all in a wedgie.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        This!

        Whatever else one may say about Mr. Lutz, he is certainly *not* spending his retirement hanging out in Walmart parking lots trying to snap some awesome upskirts!

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Bob Lutz and I have two things in common. We both had a GM logo on our pay cheque. We also shared a mutual hatred for… “Plastic Cladding !!! “… I once submitted a suggestion to rid all GM vehicles of “plastic cladding”..Suggestion rejected. Within his first week on the job, Bob announced “GM vehicles look like angry kitchen appliances”. He went on to announce the “there will not be a vehicle designed on my watch with plastic cladding”.

        Kudos to Bob… (I should have got paid for my suggestion)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Hey mikey,

          “Kudos to Bob” Yup, I feel that way too.

          I got away from GM, but those were different times back then, different car needs, different visions for the future of American cars, than those of today.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Probably the best thing a rich person in America can do is employ a lot of people.

    Whereas, the best thing a lawyer – and most of our politicians are lawyers – can do is chase an ambulance and get run over by a bus while doing it.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    “Probably the best thing a rich person in America can do is employ a lot of people.”

    I agree.

    And New Mexico, a deeply Blue ‘crat state with a Republican Latina governor, is overjoyed at the prospect of being able to mine more of its own resources, especially oil, natgas, without being mandated to expand solar and wind farms which mostly stand idle these days or go unused, and thus pay no revenue to the state.

    Hey, we were >$400 million short in the MedicAid budget for all those illegal aliens, this year alone.

    Great happiness among those called back to work. Thank you, President Trump!

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Uh, hate to burst your “get off my lawn” bubble with this from last week’s ABQ Journal:
    “New Mexico’s solar job growth is on fire, with employment up 54 percent last year, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Solar Foundation.”
    https://www.abqjournal.com/977137/solar-job-growth-exploding-in-nm.html

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would expect the Solar Foundation to say something to the effect of: “Solar job growth is on fire! Employment up 54 percent last year!”

      From the article:

      “As of December, 2,929 people worked in either installations, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development and support positions, said Solar Foundation President and Executive Director Andrea Luecke. That’s up from 1,899 local jobs in 2015, making New Mexico the 23rd fastest-growing state for solar jobs nationwide and the eighth highest for industry employment per capita.”

      So a hair over 1,000 additional jobs from a city of 556,495 souls (2013). Great, steady growth. I do think it is a bit early for the champagne, though.

      “The nonprofit publishes its Solar Jobs Census every year based on direct industry surveys. Data collection for this year’s report was financed largely by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the DOE’s annual Energy and Employment Report, Luecke said.”

      So, you paid for it America.

      “Adding indirect impact, the industry supported more than 788,000 U.S. jobs in 2016, generating $154 billion in total economic activity, according to the report.”

      I’d love to see this math.

      I also find it curious the DoE was involved here, DoE was originally created to manage the nuclear arsenal. However TIL:

      “[DoE] also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative.[3] DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories.[4]”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Energy

      • 0 avatar
        accord1999

        ““Adding indirect impact, the industry supported more than 788,000 U.S. jobs in 2016, generating $154 billion in total economic activity, according to the report.””

        I’d love to see this math. ”

        No kidding, considering how little electricity solar produces in the US (1.4% in 2016). But then perhaps it’s not surprising every jurisdiction that’s tried to install lots of solar end up seeing their electricity rates skyrocket.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Correlation does not imply causation.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            So there’s no reason to assume causation between stubbing my toe and experiencing pain then. Scary.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Todd, darling, you’ve already got toes as deformed as a ballerina’s from those gottverdammt spike-heels I keep pleading with you to not wear. You don’t need to stub them to feel pain.

            Other factors beyond the knee-jerk obvious may effect a final result.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Correct. We don’t need to assume it because it can be proven by /observable/ neural impulses from your stubbed toe to your brain. Until a link can be observed, correlation has nothing to do with causation. See also: Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Granger causality.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “So, you paid for it America.”

        America’s tax payers sure did pay for it. Got taken to the cleaners for it.

        I think there is room to utilize ALL sources of energy generation to include solar, wind, nuclear.

        But we have fields and fields of solar farms in MY area and get to use none of it because it is all exported to the El Paso, TX, area.

        Yet we have a surcharge on our electric bill to pay for all those solar farms and underused windfarms that stand idle much of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Plus, how certain are we that the $400 million deficit in “MedicAid” [sic] was due to “all those illegal aliens”?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Pretty certain, since in NM it’s the law for everyone to be able to get treated in the ER, even those without insurance, like illegal aliens. Been a problem for NM for decades.

        That’s where the shortfall came from since ALL American citizens are required to have healthcare under the ACA, or pay a fine and have a debt collector go after them if they don’t pay their ER-visit bill.

        But in NM we’re working on sending more illegals to Canada where they can turn themselves in to the nearest Mountie and request asylum after crossing the border.

        It appears to be working. Border crossing into Canada now exceed those of illegals into the US.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    They didn’t ask him any questions about VIA Motors. That’s disappointing.

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