White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer apologized to WaPo and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer for having “overshot the runway.” Pfeifer had accused Krauthammer of falsely claiming that a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had been removed from the White House and sent back to the British Embassy . In a blog post on the White House Blog (yes, the White House blogs too) Pfeiffer produced a smoking gun: A Churchill bust that was still at the White House. The trouble was there had been two busts. Now there is only one. (See, and I would have sworn Bill Clinton took all available busts when he vacated the White House.)
What do busts have to do with cars?
Since the early days of the Volt, the folks at GM loved to compare the car to putting a man on the moon. That analogy wasn’t without its problems. The moon program did cost more than three times its original budget of $7 billion, all it produced was a few rocks, and it ran out of money before it could get going in earnest. 40 years after Eugene Cernan and Apollo 17, the moon has remained untouched by human feet. But what the heck, GM loves the symbolism. To death.
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?
As many of you have probably figured out by now, I’m a firm atheist. You die, you become worm food, and your relatives divide up your estate. Life goes on. However, when I was learning religious education at school, I was told about the many different Gods on offer. We have God, Allah, Buddha (not really a god, but you get the gist), Zeus, Apollo, Thor and loads of others. But at no point did my teacher mention a Japanese car company. Bob Lutz just did.
Everyone in every business everywhere thinks they are at least somewhat underpaid, and for most, there’s a certain amount of truth to the sentiment. But then, most Americans don’t have jobs that allow them to destroy billions of dollars in value over the course of their careers. Nor does the Detroit News give most of us a forum to whine about our perceived underpayment. Having helped lead GM into bankruptcy and bailout (with thousands of Americans losing their jobs along the way), Bob Lutz still isn’t happy about executive pay limits at GM, and he clearly has no compunction about airing his grievances to the DetN.
What you see is what you get, and it ain’t a lot. All I know is, right now, we are given our responsibility, and given the rigors of the job and demands and the accountability, I would say we are being paid way, way, way below market. Right now, that isn’t a problem, but over time, clearly a company that undercompensates senior executives is going to have a retention or recruiting problem
The first time we posted the video for They Might Be Giants’ song “Electric Car,” TTAC commentator rollosrevenge noted:
I love EVs and am pretty fond of They Might be Giants, but that was the one of the most annoying songs accompanied by the one of the stupidest music videos ever. It belongs as the theme song/video for the Volt.
And guess what? If Bob “Chrome” Lutz had his way, it could have been.
When GM’s Fritz Henderson called Magna chief Siegfried Wolf and told him that GM had an irreversible case of seller’s remorse, Wolf’s flabbergasted counter was: “Are you joking?” Fritz told him he’s dead serious. Opel will stay with GM. Now, all Wolf has left for GM is unsolicited advice: Give more freedom to Opel and tread carefully with the brand and the unions. “GM must now smooth things out and win back trust. That requires a lot of sensitivity and tact,” Wolf told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag (via Reuters).
It doesn’t look like GM will be heeding the advice. New Opel Chairman Bob Lutz and new GM-E chief Nick Reilly are known for the sensitivity and tact of a Sherman tank. Supposedly, both are here on a temporary basis only until new outside managers are found. It could be a long search, if it is a real one at all.
On Monday, Fitz Henderson will come to Germany and try to smooth over things with the workers, Opel’s worker’s council chief Klaus Franz told German media. It will be a tough talk.
John Heinricy (Cadillac test driver)- Cadillac CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:46:560
Aaron Link (Cadillac development engineer)- Cadillac CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:48:902
Brian Redman- CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:49:596
Michael Cooper (Who is this guy?)- BMW M3: Top Lap: 2:50:424
Jack Baruth- Cadillac CTS-V (TTAC): Top Lap: 2:51:153
Lawrence Ulrich- CTS-V (New York Times): Top Lap: 2:53:157
Bob Lutz- Cadillac CTS-V (VP of Marketing, GM): Top Lap: 2:56:321
Michael Mainwald (carguydad.com)- BMW M5: Top Lap: 3:05:398
Wes Siler- Mitsubishi Evo X ( Jalopnik): Top Lap: 3:08:126
Chris Fairman- CTS-V: Top Lap: 3:14:292
Archan Basu- Jaguar XF: Top Lap: 3:15:670
Tom Loder- Audi RS4: Top Lap: 3:15:702
It’s official: TTAC’s top driver has beaten Bob Lutz! Check back tomorrow for Jack’s on-the-ground take on the weirdness that was.
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- Kosmo Umm.....probably about halfway between the two sides' positions?Neither side can cast the first stone. The Big 3 have record profits, and the UAW's leader has a mixed agenda of 1) good deal for his members and 2) a megalomaniac's drive to a legacy.
- Analoggrotto I bet a Goddess Mary Barra boudoir set would be enough to charm all of the UAW back to work.
- Daniel J The Two Tier system was done on purpose. The UAW and the auto companies couldn't just shaft employees who, in essence, signed up before the financial meltdown. To stem their compensation, anyone who joined after got paid lower.This was done on purpose. The auto companies benefit because they cut costs and they also hope that eventually the new employees might dislike the deal the UAW make and possibly defect from the union when these same employees could join a non-union shop for more money.The UAW was hoping for the opposite, that these new employees would be mad at the auto companies and side with the union when it was time to re-negotiate.At this point, are the current Tier 1 employees going to take a cut? Can the auto companies afford to give the Tier 2 employees the same amount of money as the Tier 1?
- Redapple2 UAW - Already overpaid. Relevant question. What are the transplants paid? Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW. What about Tesla? What about Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers. UAW should have been smashed when GM and FCA went bankrupt.
- Redapple2 TV screens to run everything instead of knobs. Turbo 4 that poorly does the job of a V 6. I think i will turn away from new product and preserve what I have for 15 years. I m reaching that point.