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      02-09-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
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Bob Lutz to retire by the end of 2009

First we have Bangle leaving BMW, and now we have the iconic person of GM's product resurgence leaving by the end of the year.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/09/auto...ion=2009020911
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      02-10-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
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Lutz deserves alot of praise for turning that company around. They are making some pretty awesome cars now. Its pretty amazing how quickly they turned that big ship around.
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      02-10-2009, 09:00 AM   #3
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This article sums up how I feel about Lutz pretty well. Good riddance.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/edi...ped-destroy-g/

Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 230: How Bob Lutz Destroyed GM

By Robert Farago
February 9, 2009


Bob Lutz was not the worst thing to happen to General Motors. He was the second worst thing after CEO Rick Wagoner. Lutz’ legacy will not be the critically acclaimed vehicles attached to his name: the Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Malibu or Pontiac G8. It will be the fact that GM’s vice chairman of global product development annihilated whatever remained of GM’s brand-related equity. Bob Lutz ran General Motors into the ground.

Lutz’ career at GM proves the old adage that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Oh hell, Lutz was the problem. Within weeks of Lutz’ elevation to Car Czar, TTAC sounded the alarm. In one of his earliest interviews, a reporter asked Lutz about Volkswagen’s prospects. Astoundingly, GM’s Car Czar couldn’t name more than three of VW’s brands.

While you might expect the identity of the German automakers’ divisions to catch out a pistonhead at a pub quiz, Lutz was the newly-appointed head of development for the world’s largest automaker. If Bob Lutz didn’t have mental access to this type of competitive information, how could he possibly craft a coherent strategy for GM?

Lutz apologists flew to his defense. This quickly became a habitual practice. In subsequent years, the automotive media focused its attention on Lutz’ mal mots: his allegedly recidivist views on the auto industry’s place within society. The so-called “crock of shit” problem was actually thinly-disguised admiration.

The press painted Lutz as the straight-talking, cigar-chomping representative of an earlier time, a time when V8 engines—and GM—ruled the earth. And they loved him for it. What the media missed: how often Lutz’ opinions about the car business were ill-informed, misguided and just plain wrong.

This is the hugely compensated automotive executive that today called the Pontiac GTO “my proudest accomplishment.” After all, “That’s the car that got us convinced that we could use the global product development scheme. Up until then, no one had tried anything like that.”

Maximum Bob is, once again, flat out wrong; the “world car” idea is as old the auto industry itself. Worse: the Australian-built GTO was an abject failure. The GTO lost GM tens of millions of dollars, squandered precious development resources and drove yet another Lutz-shaped nail into Pontiac’s coffin.

You could, however, make the case that the GTO was the quintessential Lutz-mobile: a romantic expression of his personal taste that fell flat on its face. A product that Lutz quickly abandoned in search of . . . the next big thing. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. For models within brands AND the brands themselves.

Lutz never developed anything remotely resembling a coherent, focused and determined product development strategy. Automotive Attention Deficiency Disorder characterized Lutz’ tenure. Everywhere you looked, GM under Lutz was a company typified by frenetic indecisiveness. The rear wheel-drive Zeta platform program was on-again, off-again no less than seven times.

In 2005, Lutz described Buick and Pontiac as damaged brands. The media thought it a “come to Jesus moment,” withdrawn to serve GM’s PC PR needs. But it was Lutz himself who had damaged the brands. And it was Lutz who continued to kick the brands when they were down. Lutz was guilty of sins of commission (a staggering stream of badge engineered mediocrity) and omission (a singular failure to define a profitable brand remit for ANY of GM’s divisions).

Lutz’ epic incompetence was matched only by his swagger and bravado. His enablers ate it up, adding to Maximum Bob’s egomaniacal ignorance. The fact that the media perpetuated Maximum Bob’s nickname without irony—a moniker I invented in a moment of disgust—shows you the kind of bubble that protected and extended Lutz’s befuddled sphere of influence.

Although, saying that, one wonders how much power Bob Lutz actually held within the loony labyrinth of backstabbing RenCen bureaucrats that is General Motors. Did Lutz argue for the Chevy Traverse or just let it happen? Did the Powers That Be appease Lutz with his pet projects (e.g., the Pontiac Solstice) so they could do whatever they wanted to maintain the dysfunctional status quo upon which they depended?

There is no question in my mind that Bob Lutz’ resignation was motivated by personal greed. Let’s not forget Lutz’ reply to the [first] suggestion that he take a haircut to show his devotion to the team: “I already gave at the office.” By stepping aside now, the man who scoffed at the question “Is your pension bankruptcy proof?” is making damn well sure it is.

Like so many failed American executives, Lutz will not personally suffer for having ruined the livelihoods of tens of thousands of his underlings. He will sleep well, eat well, travel luxuriously and, worst of all, continue to receive the respect of his peers. He doesn’t deserve any of it, as history will one day decide.
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      02-10-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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I think he does deserve a lot of praise. I think they did the best with what they had. If the economy wasnt in the tank they wouldnt of been so bad. I mean they had a lot of fuel efficient cars in and decent cars in the pipeline(Volt, Cruze,etc.)

On the other hand the man is 76 years old. I'd be glad to get outta there and enjoy life. BMW retires most of its upper brass and CEO's at 60.
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      02-10-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by methodtim View Post
This article sums up how I feel about Lutz pretty well. Good riddance.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/edi...ped-destroy-g/

Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 230: How Bob Lutz Destroyed GM

By Robert Farago
February 9, 2009


Bob Lutz was not the worst thing to happen to General Motors. He was the second worst thing after CEO Rick Wagoner. Lutz’ legacy will not be the critically acclaimed vehicles attached to his name: the Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Malibu or Pontiac G8. It will be the fact that GM’s vice chairman of global product development annihilated whatever remained of GM’s brand-related equity. Bob Lutz ran General Motors into the ground.

Lutz’ career at GM proves the old adage that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Oh hell, Lutz was the problem. Within weeks of Lutz’ elevation to Car Czar, TTAC sounded the alarm. In one of his earliest interviews, a reporter asked Lutz about Volkswagen’s prospects. Astoundingly, GM’s Car Czar couldn’t name more than three of VW’s brands.

While you might expect the identity of the German automakers’ divisions to catch out a pistonhead at a pub quiz, Lutz was the newly-appointed head of development for the world’s largest automaker. If Bob Lutz didn’t have mental access to this type of competitive information, how could he possibly craft a coherent strategy for GM?

Lutz apologists flew to his defense. This quickly became a habitual practice. In subsequent years, the automotive media focused its attention on Lutz’ mal mots: his allegedly recidivist views on the auto industry’s place within society. The so-called “crock of shit” problem was actually thinly-disguised admiration.

The press painted Lutz as the straight-talking, cigar-chomping representative of an earlier time, a time when V8 engines—and GM—ruled the earth. And they loved him for it. What the media missed: how often Lutz’ opinions about the car business were ill-informed, misguided and just plain wrong.

This is the hugely compensated automotive executive that today called the Pontiac GTO “my proudest accomplishment.” After all, “That’s the car that got us convinced that we could use the global product development scheme. Up until then, no one had tried anything like that.”

Maximum Bob is, once again, flat out wrong; the “world car” idea is as old the auto industry itself. Worse: the Australian-built GTO was an abject failure. The GTO lost GM tens of millions of dollars, squandered precious development resources and drove yet another Lutz-shaped nail into Pontiac’s coffin.

You could, however, make the case that the GTO was the quintessential Lutz-mobile: a romantic expression of his personal taste that fell flat on its face. A product that Lutz quickly abandoned in search of . . . the next big thing. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. For models within brands AND the brands themselves.

Lutz never developed anything remotely resembling a coherent, focused and determined product development strategy. Automotive Attention Deficiency Disorder characterized Lutz’ tenure. Everywhere you looked, GM under Lutz was a company typified by frenetic indecisiveness. The rear wheel-drive Zeta platform program was on-again, off-again no less than seven times.

In 2005, Lutz described Buick and Pontiac as damaged brands. The media thought it a “come to Jesus moment,” withdrawn to serve GM’s PC PR needs. But it was Lutz himself who had damaged the brands. And it was Lutz who continued to kick the brands when they were down. Lutz was guilty of sins of commission (a staggering stream of badge engineered mediocrity) and omission (a singular failure to define a profitable brand remit for ANY of GM’s divisions).

Lutz’ epic incompetence was matched only by his swagger and bravado. His enablers ate it up, adding to Maximum Bob’s egomaniacal ignorance. The fact that the media perpetuated Maximum Bob’s nickname without irony—a moniker I invented in a moment of disgust—shows you the kind of bubble that protected and extended Lutz’s befuddled sphere of influence.

Although, saying that, one wonders how much power Bob Lutz actually held within the loony labyrinth of backstabbing RenCen bureaucrats that is General Motors. Did Lutz argue for the Chevy Traverse or just let it happen? Did the Powers That Be appease Lutz with his pet projects (e.g., the Pontiac Solstice) so they could do whatever they wanted to maintain the dysfunctional status quo upon which they depended?

There is no question in my mind that Bob Lutz’ resignation was motivated by personal greed. Let’s not forget Lutz’ reply to the [first] suggestion that he take a haircut to show his devotion to the team: “I already gave at the office.” By stepping aside now, the man who scoffed at the question “Is your pension bankruptcy proof?” is making damn well sure it is.

Like so many failed American executives, Lutz will not personally suffer for having ruined the livelihoods of tens of thousands of his underlings. He will sleep well, eat well, travel luxuriously and, worst of all, continue to receive the respect of his peers. He doesn’t deserve any of it, as history will one day decide.
Everyone has an opinion, but to list 3 great accomplishments, then to list 1 less than stellar performance is not going to sway me. I think the GTO was a good car (although not my cup of tea). The biggest problem with it as I see it is that gas prices jumped a couple of years after its introduction causing many to steer clear of V8 GT cars.

On top of the vehicles the article listed above, GM has come out the Solstice/Sky, Escalade, C6, Malibu, and upcoming Camaro under Lutz. Thats a pretty decent list when you think how most enthusiasts swore to never look at a GM again.

The guy writing that article sounds like Lutz *ucked his girlfriend, as he keeps talking about his dislike of him personally and gives very few concrete examples of how his leadership has caused GM trouble.
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      02-10-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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The GTO was not a great car. It was a failure.

It's funny because they didn't learn from the GTO and decided to create a G8.

What they should have done was drop the Pontiac brand (It's name is tarnished whether you like it or not) and follow Toyota's lead in creating a new brand.

Pontiac continues to fail by introducing cars such as the G5 (A rebranded Cobalt) and trying to keep the brand alive as if it had some monetary value.

It hasn't gotten through their stubborn skulls that rebranding cars without the addition of luxuries DOES NOT WORK.

They also need to drop Buick, GMC, and Saturn.
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      02-10-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vAnt826 View Post
The GTO was not a great car. It was a failure.

It's funny because they didn't learn from the GTO and decided to create a G8.

What they should have done was drop the Pontiac brand (It's name is tarnished whether you like it or not) and follow Toyota's lead in creating a new brand.

Pontiac continues to fail by introducing cars such as the G5 (A rebranded Cobalt) and trying to keep the brand alive as if it had some monetary value.

It hasn't gotten through their stubborn skulls that rebranding cars without the addition of luxuries DOES NOT WORK.

They also need to drop Buick, GMC, and Saturn.
How was the GTO not a great vehicle? Yeah it was bland and yes it didn't sell well, but it doesn't mean the vehicle itself was bad. Same goes for the G8 which is on a newer platform then what the Monaro based GTO was on. Both the GTO and G8 performance wise are very capable vehicles.
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      02-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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GM only needs 4 brands:

Chevy: Mainstream cars and trucks and iconic Vette
Buick: Middle of the road aimed at Baby boomers and export markets like China
Saturn: Rebadged Opel products aimed at younger audiance
Caddy: upstream luxury

Pontiac and GMC have no place and no reason to survive
Rebadge the G8 as the new Impalla and bye bye Pontiac
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      02-10-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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How was the GTO not a great vehicle? Yeah it was bland and yes it didn't sell well,
Wow I didn't even have to reply.

They screwed 2004 owners with the introduction of the LS2. Not only was the engine changed, but many other changes came along with the LS2.

The GTO could (and still can) become so much more, but with the current leadership at GM, it is impossible.
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      02-11-2009, 02:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramos View Post
GM only needs 4 brands:

Chevy: Mainstream cars and trucks and iconic Vette
Buick: Middle of the road aimed at Baby boomers and export markets like China
Saturn: Rebadged Opel products aimed at younger audiance
Caddy: upstream luxury

Pontiac and GMC have no place and no reason to survive
Rebadge the G8 as the new Impalla and bye bye Pontiac
I agree, except I think you can trim it down even further than that. GM only really needs two brands:

Chevy: regular cars and trucks
Caddy: luxury

They should sell off everything else and stop badge engineering the crap out of every platform they've developed. There's no need for Saturn, even for a "younger audience".

I think GM should follow the business model of the Japanese big three; Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all have two distinct brands - one for regular cars and one for luxury versions of the same platforms. Toyota does have Scion and that's aimed at a younger audience, but Scion has been bleeding sales at a crazy pace even before the economic meltdown (see here - Scion sales have been down for sixteen straight months even as of last August).

GM should sell off or scrap all its other brands - Saturn, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Opel, and god knows whatever else they own. They should stop making GMC models of trucks and SUV's (what the hell is the difference between the Yukon/XL and the Tahoe/Suburban?).
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      02-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vAnt826 View Post
Wow I didn't even have to reply.

They screwed 2004 owners with the introduction of the LS2. Not only was the engine changed, but many other changes came along with the LS2.

The GTO could (and still can) become so much more, but with the current leadership at GM, it is impossible.

But the GTO was made to compete with the mustang GT and it outperformed it my MILES and had a much better interior for roughly the same price. Its problem was mainly related to mediocre exterior and rising gas prices IMO.
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      02-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by methodtim View Post
I agree, except I think you can trim it down even further than that. GM only really needs two brands:

Chevy: regular cars and trucks
Caddy: luxury

They should sell off everything else and stop badge engineering the crap out of every platform they've developed. There's no need for Saturn, even for a "younger audience".

I think GM should follow the business model of the Japanese big three; Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all have two distinct brands - one for regular cars and one for luxury versions of the same platforms. Toyota does have Scion and that's aimed at a younger audience, but Scion has been bleeding sales at a crazy pace even before the economic meltdown (see here - Scion sales have been down for sixteen straight months even as of last August).

GM should sell off or scrap all its other brands - Saturn, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Opel, and god knows whatever else they own. They should stop making GMC models of trucks and SUV's (what the hell is the difference between the Yukon/XL and the Tahoe/Suburban?).

I agree in concept, but Opel does very well in Europe and has great products, why not take advantage of those products and sell them here as Saturn's with a Euro flair?

And Buick sells very well in China, you do not want to give that up..
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