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Bob Lutz has had enough of the Volt flaming

Bob Lutz has never been one to back down from a fight. The former Marine has served at a number of car companies over the decades including General Motors, BMW, Ford, and Chrysler. Most recently, Lutz served at GM's Vice Chairman for Special Advisor Design and Global Product Development.
 
When it comes to hardcore "car guys" in the auto industry, there aren't many as rabid as Lutz. In recent years, Lutz is responsible for spearheading the development of enthusiast-oriented vehicles like the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac G8, fourth generation Pontiac GTO, Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky, and the upcoming Cadillac Converj (now called the ELR).
 
One of Lutz's most famous "babies", however, has been the Chevrolet Volt. He has been an ardent supporter of the plug-in hybrid, so it should come as no surprise that Lutz is coming to the Volt's defense after a barrage of negative press has rained down on it.


[Source: Patrick Arena/VW Vortex]
 
Lutz, writing in a column for Forbes, went straight after those that have been most critical of the Volt. He rattled off six “truths” about the vehicle including the fact that the Volt was conceived before GM's federal bailout and that no Volt has caught fire on public roads during an accident. Lutz also asserted that 278,000 gasoline-engined vehicles caught fire between 2003 and 2007, but no one seemed to launch an attack campaign against those vehicles.
 
But Lutz saved his harshest criticism for the "right-wing media" which has gone after the Volt with many a hollow-point bullet:
 
But the Oscar for totally irresponsible journalism has to go to The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, with, as its key guest, Lou Dobbs. Amid much jocular yukking, the Volt was depicted as a typical federal failure. In attempting to explain why Chevy has sold fewer than 8,000 Volts, Dobbs states, flatly, “It doesn’t work.” He elaborates, “It doesn’t go fast and go far on electricity. What happens is it catches fire."
 
Lutz then went on to try to clear up any confusion about who enabled the $7,500 tax credit that has been another sore point for people upset over the very existence of the Volt:
 
To top it off, these two media pros lamented the fact that the same government that had forced GM to produce the Volt was now extending $7,500 tax credits towards its purchase, thus squandering even more of “our taxpayer” dollars on this failed Socialist-collectivist flop. Truth? The $7,500 tax credit was enacted under the Bush administration!
 
Lutz’s column comes just days after GM CEO Dan Akerson testified before Congress to defend the Volt's safety record. "The Volt is safe. It's a marvelous machine. It represents so much of what is right at GM and, frankly, American ingenuity and manufacturing," said Akerson in his testimony last week. "The Volt seems, perhaps unfairly, to have become a surrogate for some to offer broader commentary on General Motors' business prospects and administration policy."
 
Late last week, GM introduced a new commercial to put the Volt in a more positive light.

Source: Forbes



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RE: Big Surprise
By Amedean on 1/31/2012 11:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
I need to clarify my messy message, I meant it was a loan and the banks received grants. I imagine there may be some of the GM loan that is not paid back, but it clearly is nowhere near what you described. Keep in mind there are still payments the government will receive.

I don't think you understand that the government owns shares of these TARP companies (banks included). The Treasury is calculating loss from money when the shares lose value. So when they sell their shares back to these companies they get money back.

Your homework assignment for tonight is to do a little more research and at least read the first paragraph instead of reading just headlines and posting bad information.


RE: Big Surprise
By FredEx on 1/31/2012 11:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
Also, there is nothing in the calculation on the long line of jobs it saved and what that meant to the economy. Several of my family, where they work, are down the line from the car companies and who they work for would have been devastated if any of them would have shut down.


RE: Big Surprise
By Amedean on 1/31/2012 11:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree which is why it was bitter sweet.


RE: Big Surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Big Surprise
By Amedean on 2/1/2012 1:48:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And there goes your objectivity and thus credibility on this topic. Lots of people have lost their jobs. But as long as your family members kept theirs through a bailout, hey, it's all good!


Don't pull a Gingrich and dodge my points by attacking someone elses credibility. You made too many failed accusations to be attacking someone on credibility - with credibility.

If you ask what points, reread this thread because there are several dead-end tangents.


RE: Big Surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2012 4:15:53 AM , Rating: 1
You're arguing about points on an action that was fundamentally wrong in the first place. Even if I'm wrong on all the points, that doesn't matter. What happened with GM was a travesty and is something that the Federal Government simply was never granted the power to do. How can it sit right with you that the Federal Government owns 25% of our largest auto-maker? Please tell me.

Not sure what's so hard to understand about that position. I'm taking a shellacking on this one, as expected. But even I can't believe that many people are supporting what happened. I suspect it's more about GM's new "green" outlook, than the actual bailout. Even though they sell just as many trucks and SUV's as before, public perception is everything.

Telling me that I must support crony capitalism and a massive miss-use of treasury funds because the ends justified the means, while making comments about MY credibility, just doesn't wash.


RE: Big Surprise
By Kurz on 2/1/2012 4:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes your specific family would be devastated, however the inflation, debt, and the consquences of the Federal Government having more power would have caused more issues. Such as debt, miss-allocation of resources, many things you can't directly see.

It would be less devesatating to the economy if they would have entered bankruptsy and shedded their debt, restructered and came out a stronger leaner company.

Many companies enter bankruptsy and come out better than ever. Short term gains usually hurt long term outcomes.


RE: Big Surprise
By theapparition on 2/1/2012 9:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
Your lack of knowledge on the situation hurts your understanding.

If GM had tried to go into bankruptcy court without the governments backing, they would have been liquidated......not emerge as a stronger company. There was no restructuring option. In the end, they did go into bankruptcy, just with the governments backing.

I'm not attempting to take sides on the issue, just clarifying what would have happened.


RE: Big Surprise
By Kurz on 2/1/2012 10:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
They most likely wouldn't have been liquidated (Chrysler was more likely though there was a significant chance they wouldn't have been liquidated).

They spent their time and efforts appealing to the Federal Government instead of trying to write up their Bankruptcy Papers. They were not willing to give up anything on the issue so they lobbied. They were given loans and grants only to be backed by the Federal Government again though bankruptsy.

I read up significantly on the issue and there was a way out for these companies through the normal means and still maintain independence without being liquidated.


RE: Big Surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2012 11:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
True but that would have allowed GM to get out from under the UAW, so of course, that wasn't an option anyone in Washington wanted to face.


RE: Big Surprise
By Kurz on 2/1/2012 4:44:16 AM , Rating: 2
Though you are forgetting the amount of inflation incurred to bail out these companies. Money that never existed before created for the specific purpose to bailout these companies. This inflation which devalues all of the rest of the money currently in circulation.


RE: Big Surprise
By Kurz on 2/1/2012 4:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
This was pointed towards Amedean


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