• Dec 9, 2008
Bob Lutz has been eerily silent of late. One would expect the Vice Chairman of General Motors might have something to say about the recent trips taken by GM, Ford and Chrysler to Congress, but he left the talking to his boss, CEO Rick Wagoner. When it comes to members of Congress suggesting Wagoner step down as CEO, though, Lutz could stay silent no longer. In fact, Blogger Bob even went so far as to offer up his own head for the gallows in order to keep Wagoner in charge. Lutz told the Detroit Free Press that he should go if someone has to resign, and he pointed out his controversial remarks regarding global warming as a reason to pick him instead. Lutz went on to praise his boss for transforming GM into a global automaker and streamlining the company's processes.
It should be pointed out that the current legislation on the table for $15-17 billion in federal loans doesn't include a requirement that any of the Detroit 3 CEOs resign. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) did, however, mention in a TV interview that he thought Wagoner should "move on".

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd say keep Lutz...he's seems to have a good ear for design. Him and Ed Wilburn (Sr. VP of Global Design) have developed some exciting products with more to come.

      Can you believe Lutz is 76 years old and will be 77 in February. He looks good...i need to get some of what he's taking :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bob did such a bang up job while at Chrysler (1986 – 1998 )…… NOT !!!!
      He and Rick both need to be kicked to the curb.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, the 90's were so bad for Chrysler

        Dodge Viper
        Dodge Ram
        Chrysler LH cars
        Chrysler Minivans
        Jeep Grand Cherokee
        Dodge Neon
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ahhhhh, Bob's an idiot
        bornfromjets03
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is the dumbest thing Lutz has said in his career, even dumber than his global warming bit.

        Lutz dreamed and built the SKY/SOLS. then built the Redline/GXP versions.... EPIC WIN.

        Lutz was the one that decided that watering down your concept cars will never bring out good products, thus he made sure GM's products were good.

        Wagoner sucks, Lutz needs to stay
      • 6 Years Ago
      Meh. Its only
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think Lutz is what made GM good and Wagoner is what made GM what it is today. I hope Lutz stays: he's like the Kaz Harai to Wagoners Ken kataguri (nerdy PS3 reference)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm sorry but both of these morons, Bob Putz the Nut and Wagoner should have been fired long time ago for some of the obviously mass careless bad decision makings they have been doing for many years now. The Volt is just not enough to be a saving grace for GM, now especially that fuel prices are drastically coming down. Ford, being the only domestic company that I would support, has vastly let not just me down but many loyal and future consumers down as well with designs that are way too toned down and pushing beyond just being conservative into hum drum boring.

      Companies these days seriously need to learn that once you do have a hit product, don't just sit on it for many years, expecting the end product to keep bringing in the profits for years to come because eventually the meal wagon comes to an end. The key to be a profitable company is to constantly reinnovate and do everything it takes to stay ahead of the competition. Yes I know that takes money, but here is the major kicker in the pants. The company profits should have not been wasted in CEO perks such as corporate jets, ridiculous bonuses..etc. They should have been poured back into the R&D (research and development) department as well as the engineering department, not focus groups which usually consist of your average clueless "Homer Simpson" type people and other people who sign up to these highest paid survey sites that are mainly only there looking to get a $100 check.
      Research should come from analyzing what makes the competition's product such a popular seller and try to see what you can do to make your product better without making a near exact clone of the competitor's product. If a focus group should be conducted it should come from people who buy cars truly based on careful decision weighing instead of people looking to take home a check, fanboys, or haters of the competitors. They are considered the same added distortion that caused the atrocious current gen Taurus to exist.
      One other key of competition is that it is just not enough to have a product that is equivalent, close to, or marginally better than the competition. It has to be a knockout. This is one of the many reasons why the new Chevy Malibu is not really eating into the sales of the Toyota Camry, nor is it a threat to the Honda Accord, even though it is GM's best Malibu they have ever made. It is pretty closely comparable to the Ford Fusion and far better than the Chrysler Sebring but that's just not enough.
      The bad decisions these CEO's have made put the very companies they run into the hole they are in now. I know some will try to use the "tarrifs" excuse, unfair pricing, or whatever they can pull out of their rears but the fact remains that these CEO's have ran the automotive companies in the ground and it is their fault, plain and simple. I think all of the management should be replaced as well as the current designers and engineers. Give a chance for the younger generation to show how it's done in the engineering and designing and have new management take the place of these failed losers.
      Also one last thing. Think about it. Would you expect most of the domestic cars here to sell in other countries in profitable volumes? Would you expect the same Malibu to outsell the same class of car from companies not selling products here in the USA such as Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, Fiat, Proton...etc? How about the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Fusion/Milan, 2008 Focus, or even the Sebring/Avenger? Would you expect them to outsell the popular Ford Modeo? This is what the next CEO needs to think about when running a major automotive business.
      • 6 Years Ago
      meh
      • 6 Years Ago
      How is Bob an idiot? He brought back good-looking, fun to drive product back to the GM stable. Wagoner isin't that bad either. GM has actually accomplished a lot in a very short time. The public and the media thinks turnign around a company GM's size takes half a day. It doesn't. And ofcourse, the public and the media doesn't want to alter their increasingly-outdated perception of GM so they aren't helping either.

      The problem with American corporate culture is short-sightedness. "Lets fire him. That should fix our problems!" instead of "A team takes time to gel before it can perform".
        mmstowes
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wagoner's been with GM since the late 70s. The problem is, GM hasn't had someone who genuinely loves cars in a very high position, practically since Wagoner got there. That was what Lutz brought to the table, a genuine passion for automobiles. Wagoner and his successor, IIRC, are/were both accountants and only see the bottom line and costs. I'm not going to bother beating a dead-horse over specifics, however, I will say, under Wagoner, GM's stock has fallen from $70 in 2006 to under $3 in Nov. 2008 (it's $4.77 as of 12/9/08...by comparison Toyota's is $60.01).

        Short-sighted yes. But executives of a business as large as GM's global operations short-sighted for over a decade? Inexcusable. Every business needs a sustainable short and long term business plan. Fine, we know GM's short term plan was to sell large vehicles and make huge profits on them. But where's was the long term plan? Even after the bailout, we know GMs business plan calls for many short term changes, but again, where's the long term model that shows the possibility of some sustainability? Until anyone sees that, it's completely fair to argue the bailout will do exactly what everyone and their grandmother thinks it'll do...stall the inevitable bankruptcy by a month or two. They're waiting for Obama to take office, praying he throws them a bigger lifeline. Had GM not gotten this money, it's possible they wouldn't have even made it to inauguration. And the Volt doesn't count if gas prices don't jump soon and stay high (which they likely will, but when is anybody's guess). Regardless, one vehicle that's not even profitable in its first generation isn't going to be the saviour of the brand.

        It's nice to see Lutz so noble, but Wagoner still needs to go. If that means they both go, so be it, but personal distaste aside, it'd be a shame to see Lutz go. GMs vehicles hadn't really changed until he got there. I'm not saying they're perfect or that even entire lines are all that great (I can't think of a single brand, other than perhaps Saturn that's made a fairly large leap and Saturn was on the chopping block). A few spots of success aren't going to cut it with all of those brands domestically and globally to manage, but I'm not blind to the effort.
      • 6 Years Ago
      they should both leave. end of problem.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maximum Bob talks too much. Wagoner and him should both be fired by the board.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dodd's from Connecticut. Massachusetts has its own set of problems *coughBarneyFrankTedKennedyJohnKerryandprettymucheveryoneelseinofficetherecough*
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not Maximum Bob!!!

      But seriously, Lutz contributed ALOT to make GM cars what they are today. He always talked about making class leading interiors and overall fit and finish, and look at the cars that came from that methodology...

      I think the CTS has the best interior of it's class, the Mercedes E-class, BMW 5series, Lexus GS, Infiniti M and Acura RL all have cheap looking plasticky dashboards in comparison. To get an all leather interior from another manufacturer you would have to buy a $70,000+ car! With a notable exception of the Jaguar XF.

      The Volt is almost near production ready. And it looks fantastic, I would even consider buying it and I'm a torque junkie (I need at least 300ft-lb doses at a time).
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Frylock350

        I know... it's just that I doubt it will have over 250ft-lbs, not that it needs more.

        I meant I need something like a Camaro or a G8. But getting a Volt to go to work and driving the Camaro on weekends seems like a good idea :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yah having Lutz the Putz and Wagnor in charge of a company that they are running into the ground is a really smart idea to. Keep them there and its good for all the other autmakers in the end. Please if GM is dumb enough to keep people in power that are destroying there business then they deserve to be run into the ground further.
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