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01Malibu

GM Death Watch 230: How Bob Lutz destroyed GM

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what kills me about TTAC is their arrogance in their writing and editorials, yet they can't even do their job and create a site that is pleasant to look at. Artistically its one of the ugliest, most amateurish looking sites on the internet, and asswipes like Farago expect this to be a career vehicle and to gain credibility, but I have friends who have blog sites about puppies that look more interesting and professional than their web site.

Black market abortion doctors do a cleaner job than TTAC does presenting their web site. If farago and his crew had half a brain and were larger than a pea, he'd invest some time and money into making the site look profession and credible instead of the pile of crap that it is.

As heinous as Edmunds articles are, and as difficult a site as it is to navigate, I'll give it credit for looking organized and graphically nice.

I bet Farago is one of those guys you just want to punch on site, when you see him, without even knowing its him whose site is a bigger hack job than the CHinese auto industry.

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The Truth about Cars editorials are often spot on. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Bob Lutz neglected mainstream models, but at the same time i am sure there was no shortage of proposals that ultimately got sidetracked and delayed by the bean counters. Truth is the all new models that Lutz had a hand in turned out pretty well, Malibu, Lambdas, etc.

GM needs an axeing of their product process and get in people who are young, and not GM lifers. Not marketing people, but young people who are design sensitive and passionate about cars in every way.

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Intersting read, I would say that Bob is not the all told God he seemed to come across as, but he did have his moments. There are deeper issues that even TTAC only scrapes across. Reality is that GM had too many brands and was trying to keep everything going when they should have backed off to the traditional entry level, mid level and luxury level car line up. They could have been in much better position if they cut and run on a number of product lines.

Chevy, GBP and Cadillac is what they should have changed to about 6 - 8 years back. IMO

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The Truth about Cars editorials are often spot on. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Yeah, spot on like blind guy throwing a dart and hitting the wall 20 feet away from the dartboard.

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Well, that was a load of $h! to read.....

Wish it was a magazine though, because the I might have a use for it...

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The Truth about Cars editorials are often spot on. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Really? Like what?

Anybody can be an armchair critic......

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Well, TTAC tends to ignore the positives of GM the way Cheers tends to ignore the negatives of GM. And sometimes you have to exaggerate things to get people to pay attention.

Truth is I have no idea what Bob does, exactly.

He's not a stylist, an engineer, a marketer, a branding advisor, or any other easily-definable role. All he seems to do is come up with superfluous, poorly thought-out niche models, and when they fail he's already off touting the next model that is going to save its brand and all of GM.

He's very good at ramming projects trough all the red tape, but has a tendency to not consider the consequences or think things through completely.

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Well, TTAC tends to ignore the positives of GM the way Cheers tends to ignore the negatives of GM. And sometimes you have to exaggerate things to get people to pay attention.

Truth is I have no idea what Bob does, exactly.

He's not a stylist, an engineer, a marketer, a branding advisor, or any other easily-definable role. All he seems to do is come up with superfluous, poorly thought-out niche models, and when they fail he's already off touting the next model that is going to save its brand and all of GM.

He's very good at ramming projects trough all the red tape, but has a tendency to not consider the consequences or think things through completely.

Well, if not for the Solstice, Malibu, G6, Traverse and G8 GM probably won't need the recession to drive it into near bankruptcy. As far as kicking the brands when they were down, my only qualms are that Bob didn't have the power to kick them to Kingdom come and shut them down.

One needs to ask... if not Maximum Bob, what will you rather have? More designed by committee products, more bean counting prop up a falling dam, more uninteresting, low quality products which nobody even looks at much less want? Under Bob, every single GM product release not only looked, drove and feels better than the last generation, they looked, drove and feels as good or better than the competition for the first time in three decades.

No, Lutz is not a systematic administrator, paragon of humility or a devotee of the church of political correctness. But, I'll tell you this... a politically correct, humble and systematic administrator is just that -- an administrator. A principled and unobtrusive moron who may do well running a government records office; certainly not someone you want to help turn an ailing product line around.

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He's very good at ramming projects trough all the red tape, but has a tendency to not consider the consequences or think things through completely.

Good point. Consider that the Soltice/Sky apparently COSTS GM $10,000 per vehicle sold.

The Volt is another example.

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Good point. Consider that the Soltice/Sky apparently COSTS GM $10,000 per vehicle sold.

So you say they are losing $10k per Solstice/Sky? That's outrageous...too big of discounts, or are they underpriced? Or not enough volume relative to the development costs?

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So you say they are losing $10k per Solstice/Sky? That's outrageous...too big of discounts, or are they underpriced? Or not enough volume relative to the development costs?

You're doing it wrong. After a statement like that, you need to say:

Please quote your source. Otherwise, it can only be assumed you are pulling numbers out of your butt.

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You're doing it wrong. After a statement like that, you need to say:

Please quote your source. Otherwise, it can only be assumed you are pulling numbers out of your butt.

Well I imagine GM sells most cars at a loss right now. So selling the solstice/sky at a loss shouldn't be a suprise.

The source is this:

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f70/gmi...axed-r-d-68685/

In case you don't like that source, as Bob himself wrote:

"Doing a great roadster for $35,000-$45,000 is a feat mastered by several automobile companies. In fact, it’s relatively routine. It’s doing that desirable, high-content roadster for under $20,000 that challenges an automobile company."

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2005/...omise_of_1.html

But mostly there was demand higher than production (even with extra capacity unused) for a car with a suprisingly low price. GM tends to over-produce, not under. What Lutz calls a "halo car" was most likely a loss leader. Nothing horribly wrong with that. I think it even worked a little bit. But it was nowhere near as effective as building a good small fuel efficient car would have been.

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And another excuse to bash the Volt too!

Do you have a better example of a Lutz product not well thought out that is wasting resources that could have been spent on something better so that GM wouldn't have to be begging for your tax dollars and likely going bankrupt?

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Well I imagine GM sells most cars at a loss right now. So selling the solstice/sky at a loss shouldn't be a suprise.

The source is this:

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f70/gmi...axed-r-d-68685/

In case you don't like that source, as Bob himself wrote:

"Doing a great roadster for $35,000-$45,000 is a feat mastered by several automobile companies. In fact, it’s relatively routine. It’s doing that desirable, high-content roadster for under $20,000 that challenges an automobile company."

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2005/...omise_of_1.html

But mostly there was demand higher than production (even with extra capacity unused) for a car with a suprisingly low price. GM tends to over-produce, not under. What Lutz calls a "halo car" was most likely a loss leader. Nothing horribly wrong with that. I think it even worked a little bit. But it was nowhere near as effective as building a good small fuel efficient car would have been.

See how much more credible you are now? I can still nitpick the statement a little...

GMI has been told that when the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky came to the market, GM was losing around $10,000 per unit built.

(the statement being regarding when they first came to market makes it questionable if it would still apply)

... but at least the number came from somewhere, and we know it comes from a reasonable source. I'm just quick to call BS around here anymore, because there are some people on here that really like to pull numbers out of their butts to "prove" their point. I thank you for not doing that. :)

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See how much more credible you are now? I can still nitpick the statement a little...

(the statement being regarding when they first came to market makes it questionable if it would still apply)

... but at least the number came from somewhere, and we know it comes from a reasonable source. I'm just quick to call BS around here anymore, because there are some people on here that really like to pull numbers out of their butts to "prove" their point. I thank you for not doing that. :)

No problem.

Sure, they could be losing more now!

The ambiguity as well as the source is why I also wrote "apparently".

I guess as I don't make up numbers I don't always feel compelled to provide sources (but I understand why you have to check). But mostly I thought this number was known amongst "GM's Biggest Fans and Toughest Critics" as it seems to be well known in other circles. Plus it just seemed fairly obvious to me.

Edited by GXT
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