Biography: Bob Lutz's Long Road

Bob Lutz Biography

Bob Lutz Biography

the 2000s

2001: Recruited by GM CEO Rick Wagoner to lead product turnaround.

2004: Pushes the hot Pontiac Solstice concept, just as he'd done with the Opel GT and the Dodge Viper. Like the Viper in particular, the Solstice concept is a hit and gets rushed to production.

2004: Champions the importation of the Australian Holden Monaro as a reborn Pontiac GTO. Like his earlier Merkur XR4ti, the GTO is a failure.

2007: Promises a production version of the Chevrolet Volt concept by 2010.

2007-2008: First batch of Lutz-developed products, including Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Saturn Aura, debut to strong reviews but mixed sales success.

2008: Calls global warming a "total crock of shit."

February 2009: Announces that he will retire by year's end, with GM's future in serious doubt.

June 2009: GM files for bankruptcy. "Maximum Bob" quickly unretires again, apparently convinced that the government won't interfere with car development. CEO Fritz Henderson puts him in charge of marketing.

December 2009: New GM chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre reassigns Lutz as a "special advisor."

March 2010: Announces retirement again: "It really is time to move on. Early retirement is finally here at age seventy-eight."

Multiple choice:

May 2010: Lutz retires and (take your pick)

A) flies off into the sunset in one of his military jets, content to finally spend time with his seven grandchildren.
B) unretires yet again, hangs around General Motors until 2075.
C) hires on with another automaker.

Lutz >> Quotables

"You can't sacrifice future product for short-term financial gains. That's like a farmer eating his seed potatoes instead of planting them." - 2006

"Bankruptcy is totally out of the question. We have never contemplated it." - 2006

"If you have a good [car] name, it can help. I've seen a lot of stupid names in my life." - 2003

"We're glad we've recently cut $9 billion in costs, but we also know you can't 'save' yourself into prosperity." - 2006

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