Print 58 comment(s) - last by tallguywithgla.. on May 26 at 2:35 AM

  (Source: Hybrid Cars)

Bob Lutz is a legend among auto enthusiasts  (Source: Patrick Arena/The Car Lounge)
Lutz may be back if things go sour

Questions regarding price and whether the Chevy Volt will be sold, leased, or both have remained unanswered until now. While the price is still up in the air, GM has announced that the Volt will be available for sale and for lease, and the once-again newly retired GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz could not be more excited for the November 2010 release date. 

"I love it. I just absolutely love it," said Lutz. "I think it's a great car to drive. I'm personally going to get myself on the list for one, no question about it. No question that I think it's the greatest achievement of my career."

Lutz, 78, has been in the automotive business for 47 years, nine of which were spent with GM. He is a former Marine fighter pilot who has worked as an executive at all three Detroit carmakers as well as BMW. He officially retired from GM on April 30 of this year, and had a final farewell party on Tuesday in Warren, Michigan where his wife, Denise, and several GM executives and employees were in attendance.

"I think this is the third time I've retired," said Lutz. "I think this time I can actually achieve it and not go back to work full time for anybody. 

"If I see things going wrong, there will be the ghost of Bob Lutz, and it ain't going to be friendly."

Lutz was praised as one of the largest reasons for GM's $865 million profit success after having to claim bankruptcy last year. Lutz was to retire late last year, but stayed on board to work with the creative aspects of GM's marketing, advertising and designs. 

"GM is in good shape coming out of Chapter 11 because of Bob Lutz," said Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product development. "You taught us how important it was to listen-not only to other people, but to listen to your gut. In the automotive industry, that gut reaction is probably the most important reaction."

Lutz received two gifts at his retirement party, one being a replica of GM's Supercharged LS9 engine and the other a set of aluminum scale models, most notably the Chevrolet Volt Plug-in hybrid. Lutz has made the Volt the center of GM's campaign to become the industry's environmental leader. He has compared the Volt to President Kennedy's moon shot, saying it will be "sensational," and "will have the same sort of symbolism."

"I don't think it would be a vast overstatement to say the Volt is in many ways symbolic of a renaissance in the American auto industry," said Lutz. "If we pull it off successfully, it can really put us back at the top of the heap of automotive technology instead of being called laggards that are being left behind by the Germans and the Japanese."

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt will carry a 40 mile all-electric range and on-board range-extending gasoline engine. While such new innovations will likely make some buyers skeptical, GM expects the Volt to be well-accepted by the public. Now, we wait for some purchase figures.


Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By JasonMick on 5/20/2010 1:04:27 PM , Rating: 1
Man someone's been drinking their hatorade. Okay, so you have a problem with the bailout? Don't blame GM -- any company would try to save itself given the opportunity. Not to say there isn't plenty of reasons to find fault with GM, but to blindly reject their vehicles seems awfully short-sighted.

As to the Volt itself, I think it's awesome they are offering it for lease. Yes it will be kind of pricey (with or without tax credit) but smart drivers will be able to use it to commute virtually gas free. That alone should recoup much of the difference if you drive a fair amount daily.

I still think hybrids/EVs don't make sense PURELY from an economic perspective yet, but they've come a heck of a long ways in a short time. If some early adopters want to pay more to get hot new technology, let them. When the first microcomputers came out they weren't terribly useful to the buyers, but they sure were cool. I see a parallel in EVs and hybrids. Economics isn't all about practicality, you'll eventually discover.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By Zoomer on 5/20/2010 2:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
There definitely is a market for small volumes of these. It wouldn't be mainstream, but hopefully it can pave the way as a proof of concept and iterative cost reduction. The evolution of the volt (or its inevitable competitors) will BE mainstream. Eventually.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By AEvangel on 5/20/2010 2:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
but to blindly reject their vehicles seems awfully short-sighted.

Actually it's a perfect reason...if you manage your company soo poorly that it takes an illegal act of a Govt to bail you out. Then how am I supposed to trust that the product your making is not as poorly made and mismanaged.

Specially, when you have alternatives like Ford or the variety of other manufactures to purchase from that don't have the same issues.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By lelias2k on 5/20/2010 2:34:26 PM , Rating: 1
I get what you're saying.

But would you stop going to the doctor because our health system is a failure?

There are many good people working at GM. Just because management made bad decisions in the past (including those freakish union deals in the 80s, which basically made the company incapable of competing in the current market) that alone doesn't mean that they're not capable of building good cars.

And when it comes to the Volt, you won't have a direct competitor for a while.

RE: Wrong Mr Lutz
By ebakke on 5/20/2010 3:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
But would you stop going to the doctor because our health system is a failure?
First, our health system isn't a failure. And second, no, but I would stop going to the doc if he/she recently lost some malpractice lawsuits though and just came back out of bankruptcy.

There are many good people working at GM.
BFD! I don't buy things because "good people work at the company producing this good/service." That's about the stupidest reason I can think of. Good and bad people work for good and bad companies, which produce good and bad products. It's not my job as a consumer to make sure every poor sap has a job. Each poor sap needs to solve that problem himself. If John Doe gets laid off because he chose to (that's right folks, people still get to choose where they work) work for a company that management ran into the ground, maybe John will be more mindful of the company leadership in his next job.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki