Retirement, or just the right time to leave after the coup d’état transition to Whitacre took place?
Either way, May 1st is retirement day: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35692004/ns/business-autos/
Lutz was a car guy extraordinaire, who made an enormous difference at GM. Some of his cars were notable but expensive bombs (such as the Solstice and GTO), some died an early death (G8), and some were great successes – particularly his work at Cadillac (excluding the rediculous Cadillac 16). He may be best remembered for more recent products including the Camaro and the upcoming Volt.
And let’s not forget his work on the original Ford Sierra and Explorer. The Explorer became one of the best known brands at Ford, reached a peak of over 420k sales per year, and invented an entire class of vehicle. He also led the development of the Viper at Dodge.
To us, he’ll be best remembered for being a true driving enthusiast, as an aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps, and as an all-around great guy.
GM Press Release follows:
DETROIT – General Motors Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz will retire effective May 1, 2010, capping a 47-year career in the global auto industry that included senior leadership positions at four of the world’s leading automakers.
Lutz, 78, rejoined GM September 1, 2001, as the head of product development, and has led the company’s resurgence in developing great cars and trucks. He also worked at BMW, Chrysler and Ford.
“The influence Bob Lutz has had on GM’s commitment to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles will last for years to come,” GM CEO and Chairman Ed Whitacre said. “I, along with many other men and women in GM and throughout the industry, have greatly benefited from his passion, wisdom and guidance.”
Lutz said he decided to retire now in part because hot-selling vehicles like the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Camaro, along with the growing strength of GM’s four brands, prove that a product-focused mindset inside the company is in place for the long term.
“I can confidently say that the job I came here to do more than nine years ago is now complete – the team I have been fortunate to lead has far exceeded my expectations,” Lutz said. “Our product lineup is as strong as it has been in GM’s history. The perception of our products and brands is beginning to catch up with reality. And most importantly, the absolute commitment to being a product-driven company is ingrained throughout the organization – from the top down – and I am confident that, under Ed Whitacre’s leadership, the straightforward, singular focus on product will endure.”
Lutz, a GM vice chairman, was appointed senior advisor in December 2009 and will continue to provide guidance on design and key product initiatives until he retires May 1.
GM has benefitted from blogging (unlike Ford, whose blog has been all but dead since it was created a year ago) and has added a second blog after Bob Lutz’ blog. With RSS feed, of course.
Bob is an interesting character with a sense of humor, but also a strong personal and business drive. Veyr rare. And while he has made a number of erros along the way, GM is definitely better off with him driving the ship – and learning along the way – than is (for example) Ford with a member of the royal family leading the way.
By Michael Wiley
Director, New Media
Welcome to our new blog! For those of you familiar with the FastLane Blog, the FYI Blog is a slight departure. While we are certainly happy with the conversation that the FastLane has created, for the most part, it has been the exclusive domain of some of our most senior executives, particularly Bob Lutz (most of us even call it Bob’s Blog). Over the last few months we decided that we could add another blog to our portfolio; and that it could be even more grassroots, providing an opportunity for all GM employees to contribute in one way or another.
Our hope is that this will be an effective way to spread the conversation about GM; that we can continue to get better at listening and maintaining the dialogue, and ultimately, create products and services that not only meet your needs but are truly the best.
The FYI Blog will highlight the positive developments that occur at GM on a daily basis, though we won’t shy away from controversy. Things that most of us would otherwise never hear about. Whereas the FastLane Blog usually gets new entries once or twice a week, the FYI blog aspires to be much more active. Expect to see at least a daily post, written by people throughout the organization. Here are the categories of information that the blog will feature:
- Cool Stuff – Stories about innovations; product, technology, facilities and manufacturing
- Our People – Profiles of GM employees and their unique jobs, careers, etc.
- News – Good News stories, including items that you may otherwise never hear about
- Opinions – GM op/ed pieces intended to shed light on issues in the news
- Guest Voices – Blog entries written by third parties who are not GM employees
We hope you enjoy participating in this new blog and we look forward to hearing from you.
Source: FYI Blog
Train near Chicago derails and spills 5 train cars worth of GTOs. Bob Lutz is said to be very relieved… this simplifies the sales plan for these loser cars considerably…
Crying and sympathetic hugs here: http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22153
2006 Pontiac Solstice
By Bob Lutz GM Vice Chairman
“As I write this, I’m on an airplane, returning from Portland, Oregon, where a group of leading auto journalists got their first opportunity to drive, or should I say, wring out the Pontiac Solstice on some of the world’s nicest mountain roads, including a closed-course, private mountain pass put in by the legendary Sam Hill (origin of the question “Where in the Sam Hill….?”, testifying to the high-altitude remoteness of his chosen luxury residence). Compared to earlier pre-production examples, these cars had the latest air induction system for vastly reduced induction noise, and a freer (but still legal) exhaust system, which produces a very pleasant sporting exhaust note and adds greatly to the character of the car. “
Continue reading: GM FastLane Blog
Great article in Edmund’s Inside Line on the failings of Bob Lutz. I’ve covered a lot of the failures of his regime in past blogs… and there is even more info here. Very worthwhile reading.
How about the comment claiming the Grand Prix is GM’s “BMW 3 series fighter”? Anybody would have to be pretty far off their rocker to make an absurd claim like that… and yes I’ve driven a bunch of them including some rentals I’d sooner forget about on business trips. This, along with most of GM’s other products, is the kind of rental car you dread to be stuck with. Why anybody would want one, other than poseurs thinking all the weird ergonomics and over the top dashboard is modern, is beyond me.
Seems GMs hottest new models aren’t so hot after all: GM is closing assembly plants to let the inventories of unsold cars slide down a few notches.
The SSR is another Lutz mistake… as is the unbelievably godawful styling on the Chevrolet Colorado and Canyon. What a couple of pointless vehicles. The Caddies are a surprise… by all publicity accounts they were supposed to be selling better.