• Feb 15, 2011
General Motors is reportedly looking to re-hire none other than Bob Lutz as a consultant to vehicle development. Lutz, 79, left GM in May of 2010 after leading the company's product development efforts for many years.
The push to rehire Lutz reportedly comes from GM CEO Dan Akerson's initiative to rush development and reduce cost of its new crop of vehicles. The United States government, which currently owns one-third of GM, has apparently opposed Lutz's re-appointment, with The Daily Beast saying that the U.S. Treasury is reluctant to re-hire Lutz on the grounds that paying him so close to his retirement could look like a "sweetheart payout."

GM recently promoted Mary Barra, 49, to senior vice president in charge of global product development, even though she has very little experience in the field. By bringing Lutz back, GM hopes to regain an intelligent eye into strategies for quick product development, as well as marketing and design. Thanks for the tip, Phrime!

[Source: The Daily Beast]


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  • 58 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can`t figure out why GM does not sell Opel Astra as re-badged Chevy in US. It is about the same as new Focus. Ford Focus in US is also developed in Europe.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm curious as to whether or not GM had other options instead of Mary Barra. I mean if she has little experience in the field what is it that made her the right choice for the position in the first place?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Here is a great article that covers why she was put in this role:
        http://www.autoextremist.com/current/?currentPage=4
        Christopher
        • 3 Years Ago
        that is something i'd like to know myself. man or woman, anyone heading or consulting car developement at any auto manufacturer should have gasoline in their veins to some degree at least. some people say lutz is a windbag, sure, but he still had the right stuff as far as being part of the development of some of the better cars from both chrysler pre-daimler and the better lot of GM's more recent offerings, as well as championing some cool sets of wheels. you can do a lot worse than having him as a consultant. if he still actually wants to work at his age, more power to him
      • 3 Years Ago
      Approved and desired!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lutz is the man. They would be wise to bring him back. Dude brought so much great product to the market, but a lot of it came at the worst time possible.

      Bring back the Solstice Coupe GXP Bob, please!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it'd be great to have him as a consultant. He's a car guy, and having one to ask about issues is great.

      Get Heinricy back too, just in time for the Cruze SS.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only real issue is whether GM internalized Lutz's product/design focus. If not, he would be sorely needed to combat Akerson's seeming bean-counter mentality. GM must keep the quality improvement AND design mentality to succeed (one need only look @ the Ford line to see that).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Best Move, At least he needs a shadow or two
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think they need to look towards other professionals from other places in the industry and get a little extra growth from their experience.

        • 3 Years Ago
        What auto exec would leave their company to work at GM? Bob Lutz was one of the good things about the Old GM. He likes cars and teamed up with Ed Wilburn GM can turn out some great products if they can keep the quality and refinement up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM do it. Lutz has a great eye for what people really want that you can't simply obtain from any focus group. Love or hate him one must respect the fact that Lutz stuck to his guns and pushed product through that in all honesty most likely would of been nixed if left on its own or took twice as long to come to us. In my eyes Lutz wanted to make GM's product portfolio something people desired and not settled for.
      • 3 Years Ago
      THANK!.... GOD!....

      They're doomed without him. Their product line is less than inspiring, and quite boring.
        • 3 Years Ago
        ROTFL HAHAHAH I like your sarcasm HAHAHA!! I have tears from all of this laughter.

        Oh Ohhhhhh wait! You're really serious about what you said?? GASP!!! OMFG
        • 3 Years Ago
        I am with Tanooki here. Same old GM. Rehire a fosil responsible for some of the worst cars that ever came out of Detroit. The Cruze? Dated before it came out, just compare it with the new Elantra or the new Focus. The Cruze is 5 years behind the competition. The Volt? Unproven and as far as I'm concerned it'll be a bomb. All you who sing the praises of GM, are you gonna put down $40K for hybrid out of Detroit? I didn't think so. A year ago GM's stock was at less than $1 a share. Now it's $33+. And I'm having none of it. What has changed? Are they making world class cars? No. Are they rid of the UAW? No. All of you who believe GM has reformed... I'll see you back here in a few years.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't matter how old he is, Bob Lutz simply "gets it". That's something you obviously cannot say for most Detroit execs these days.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The United States government, which currently owns one-third of GM, has apparently opposed Lutz's re-appointment, with The Daily Beast saying that the U.S. Treasury is reluctant to re-hire Lutz on the grounds that paying him so close to his retirement could look like a "sweetheart payout.""

      It would be illuminating to find out how many US Treasury employees have "retired" at GS-13 to GS-15 levels, only to be hired as "consultants". Of course when it's a public employee who is double dipping or getting a 25% "retention bonus", that's for the common good, right?
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