He comes out of retirement before retiring
By Brendan Moore
The Wall Street Journal and Automotive News are both reporting late today that Bob Lutz is not retiring as planned, and instead, will stay on at GM, probably in the role of global marketing head. GM media people are not commenting (until tomorrow’s 9AM press conference), so that pretty much seals it.
Speaking for myself only at Autosavant, I’m glad to see it.
Lutz has made some mistakes; he’s made some public statements that weren’t helpful at times, and he didn’t seem to see the pendulum swinging away from SUVs quickly enough, and, some other errors, but he has been responsible for some great products at GM the last few years. He has a great eye for product and is demanding about the important details on a car, two things GM sorely needed before Lutz showed up. Moreover, he got the other people at GM believing they also could do great things.
That is of tremendous value by itself.
Lastly, even if you don’t agree with Lutz, at least you know where he stands. He is an auto journalist’s dream in that regard, and business aside, frankness is a personal trait I admire, so, I’m happy Lutz is going to stick around a while longer.
We saw how Lutz worked with former CEO Rick Wagoner; now we will see how he works with Fritz Henderson.
My guess is that this new relationship will offer more results; not because I’m dinging Wagoner, but because GM’s new financial situation and the urgency felt now by both Henderson and Lutz will contribute to good/great cars as soon as possible.
Welcome back, Mr. Lutz.
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