Former GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz Attacks "Right-Wing Media" Over Negative Volt Coverage
January 31, 2012 7:00 PM
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
(now called the
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
, 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.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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