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When Bob "crock of s*!t" Lutz first announced his retirement from General Motors a little over a year ago, he said he would not be around to see development of the Chevrolet Volt. Of course, he returned to the company before he ever really left (becoming vice chairman last December) and kept on strongly promoting the plug-in hybrid. Sometimes, of course, he continued his habit of saying things that attract a lot of attention, like that hybrids won't ever be that great for GM.
It's the end of an era, folks. There are reports this afternoon all over the internet that General Motors' Vice Chairman, "Maximum" Bob Lutz, will officially retire on May 1. Those keeping track will remember that Lutz initially announced his retirement back in February of 2009, but then later chose to remain with GM, heading the marketing and communications teams.
Bob Lutz speaking at the 2009 LA Auto Show
Bob Lutz speaking at the 2009 LA Auto Show
As General Motors was stumbling toward insolvency earlier this year and it became clear that the presidential task force was going to require some heads to roll, Bob Lutz announced his retirement at the end of this year. Now that the "New" General Motors has emerged from bankruptcy, it appears Lutz wants to keep his commitment to drive the first production Chevy Volt off the line in 2010.
We're going to make a prediction right here and now: Bob Lutz's appearance on Dave Letterman tonight will result in at least two choice quotes. Granted, we're not exactly going out on a limb here, since the stage has been so perfectly set for a great bit of drama. Step one, Letterman loves Elon Musk from Tesla and tears the Volt a new one on national TV; step two, Bob Lutz and the rest of GM get a bit peeved; step three happens tonight. With all of this backstory and Lutz's history of picking th
The common wisdom shaping up around Dave Letterman's smackdown of the Chevy Volt Wednesday night: not funny. The latest to chime in on Dave's dismissal of the work that GM has done with the Voltec technology is one of the Volt's biggest supporters: Bob Lutz. Lutz, GM's Vice Chairman, wrote a piece for the GM Fastlane Blog calling Dave's interview of Tesla Motor's Elon Musk a "Stupid Human Trick."
Saab and Volvo have been down this road before, back in the 1970s. In fact, the two Swedish automakers were a hair away from merging 240s and 900s back in the day, but instead followed separate paths. Now, with both brands facing difficult sales numbers and uncertain futures, Bob Lutz thinks a merger sounds good once again. Lutz thinks it'd be a way for Ford and General Motors to both rid themselves of problematic business units. The soon-to-be former Car Czar for GM offers no insight about how
Shucks, things are bound to be a heck of a lot less interesting without Bob Lutz around. According to General Motors, the automaker's own Car Czar will transition from his current role as Vice Chairman – Global Product Development to the position of Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor on April 1 and officially retire at the end of the year. The automotive world is sure to be a quieter place.
Last spring, when General Motors starting track testing its first E-Flex powertrain "mule" prototypes, the cars were based on previous-generation Chevrolet Malibu body shells, the Mali-Volts. The engineering team has now moved on to the next generation of its development cars. The latest batch of testers are now using Chevy Cruze bodies, which is appropriate since both the Cruze and Volt share the same Global Compact Architecture (that is the next-gen Delta platform). In many respects, Volt is a
GM's product development chief Bob Lutz is one of only a handful of people to have driven the first Chevy Volt development mules with the full lithium ion battery pack in place. The mules have now been dubbed Mali-Volts alluding to the Malibu body shells that contain the E-Flex. A post went up yesterday on the GM Fastlane blog about the drive, and shortly afterward I got to have a longer one-on-one chat with the Vice-Chairman. Lutz was in a particularly good mood and he described himself as "thr
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has just up a new blog post describing his first drive in the first functional Chevy Volt mule. The official terminology is "engineering development vehicle" but the engineers all refer to them as mules. That's because like a mule (part horse, part donkey) these early pre-prototype vehicles are a mashup of parts from existing vehicles and development parts for the new models. They allow engineers to get a head start on testing components and systems well in advance of t
Click above for high-res live shots of the 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
In an interview with WunderBob Lutz, the Associated Press reported that "he wants to retire from General Motors Corp. after the company brings a plug-in electric car to market, possibly sometime in 2010." After what must have been enough phone calls and e-mails to bust a switchboard, Lutz has clarified the AP story with a resounding "I'm not thinking retirement."