Bob Lutz Will Stay at GM

He comes out of retirement before retiring

By Brendan Moore

07.09.2009

lutz-listening

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.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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6 Comments

  1. I could never understand the weird cult around Lutz. He didn’t exactly do a bang-up at GM. He did some interesting work at Chrysler, but the cars were still falling apart at 20,000 miles. Is there a gain in there for the U.S. public?

    If you’re going to make attractive cars that break down all the time, why not just move to 1966 England.

  2. lutz is no a failure because he did not save gm. I think no one could do the job alone.

  3. Short Leo, you must be out of your mind. Or you don’t know how the auto industry works. If Lutz went to BMW tomorrow, he’d be an asset to them. If he went to Nissan, he’d be an asset to the company. GM is lucky to have Lutz staying around.

  4. As it happened, Lutz was put in charge of Global Marketing. This should be interesting.

  5. @ Just Sayin,

    You are completely right. Most people are oblivious that he had high ranking positions at both BMW and Ford of Europe before coming to Chrysler. He is the man that Jurgen S. wanted to stay with Chrysler as a part of the B. S. “Merger of Equals.” (Robert Eaton made sure that didn’t happen.) Come to think of it, that’s another reason I like Lutz: He can’t suffer a fool, be it Eaton or Lido before Eaton.

    GM is much better off with Lutz on-board, especially when the “Government Motors” people with no car experience whatsoever start dictating what GM will bring to market. If Lutz can’t push back, no one can.

  6. Weird cult? You might as well say that about any industry person people admire.

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