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tama z71

Maximum Bob

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Maximum Bob

A Tama Article

www.cheersandgears.com

April 16, 2006

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General Motors Vice-President Robert Lutz gives much-needed personality to the cars and the company.

Before General Motors lost itself in the corporate anonymity that is now definitional of the company, it produced some of the most memorable and legendary leaders ever to enter the car biz. DeLorean, Duntov, Engine Charlie Wilson – these were car guys who presided over a true car company. It has been almost four decades coming, but GM has found its next charismatic car guy in Bob Lutz.

In his book On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors, DeLorean detailed the systemic and anonymous nature of the 14th floor, GM’s infamous headquarters that bred a corporate culture of facelessness. This approach to business ultimately led the company to appear non-human; magnifying the size of the auto juggernaut (can you say 60% of the national market share?)

However, since the heady days of the muscle car craze, the General has been completely lacking the kind of charismatic car guy who could build the one-hell-of-a-car that previously was the GM standard. In fact, the lifeless nature of the 14th floor soon leaked its way into GM cars, the catalyst for the “bean-counter” and “cookie-cutter” autos of the 70s-90s.

The system worked despite itself for 40 years, until CEO Rick Wagoner, a man bred in the traditional GM hierarchy, did the unthinkable – brought in an outsider, straight to the top.

Since then, the ex-marine, ex-Chrysler CEO, ex-Instrument of the Gods has shaken the company out of its comatose business approach. Five years after his initiation as resident car guy, Lutz’ work is starting to present itself, and we are in for a show.

If not the work that Bob has gotten his hands on, it’s his mouth that is causing folks to take notice of the company again. Further distancing GM from the stodgy image of an anonymous business entity, Lutz has made bold predictions and boastful hints at future GM product, adding "Soon, all will be revealed to you, and the last skeptic in America will be convinced that we are well on the way to recovery. GM has its best days ahead of it."

Perhaps second only to Lori Queen, Lutz is becoming more and more aggressive in calling out what many agree is a bias-driven and begrudging automotive media. A few of his best quotes have come from the 2006 New York International Auto Show, where he added "Most of the analysts living in New York don't even own cars, and have never even visited one of our dealerships,” and "At some point, I start to question whether they're [analysts] holding short positions on the stock." Referring to sold-out orders for GM’s sports coupes (Corvette, Solstice, Sky), Lutz added "Let's look at some of our awful, boring products and see just how unpopular they are."

General Motors’ road to recovery is going to take change on all fronts. Rick Wagoner appears to be the man to take charge of the business of a car company. Though there are those who have recently questioned his leadership abilities, Bob Lutz is certainly not among them, saying "General Motors will come back and blossom like never before, and Rick Wagoner will be the celebrated hero at the head of the company.”

Then there is the product end of the business. Wagoner and Co. made the pivotal decision of implanting an outsider to revitalize the company. Considering the resurgence of Cadillac, Chevrolet’s new spot as national sales leader and the apparent rebirth of Saturn, Lutz has already made his mark on the company.

Will the new cars appeal to customers as Lutz has said they will? Only time will tell. For the time being, however, Lutz is in command. Here’s to the success of this cigar-chomping ex-marine – his work now is more important than ever.

Edited by tama z71

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What does it take to get a response around this site? Dammit

You have to be one of the moderators, one of the insiders, or one of the popular people like ocnblu, Blackviper, Croc, etc.

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Tama, don't take offense. Sometimes things just "slip through the cracks". Especially articles, since the section doesn't seem to be very well frequented (unless note of a new article is made on the front page somehow). I really like this article, along with just about everything else you've written. Good work, and keep the good stuff coming.

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I like these statements by Lutz and his ''just wait and see" talk about GM being great again but I've been hearing the same thing from GM execs for the past 15 years I've been following them so like the skeptics I'll beleive it when I see it.

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I really like the article, Tama. It read like a professional journalist wrote it, and I think you have real potential--especially for just being in high school. Keep up the good work!

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You have to be one of the moderators, one of the insiders, or one of the popular people like ocnblu, Blackviper, Croc, etc.

i often have the same thoughts, thats the main reason i read this site as much as anyone but dont post all that often

now as far as the article goes... awesome read bob lutz is a hero of mine and any praise is good to hear

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I'm glad to know how lutz is changing things in Gm. But, he is a Vice-President he dosen't design the car., The vp of design is Ed Wilbur, but his name is hardly mention when a new car is introduced.

sold-out orders for GM’s sports coupes (Corvette, Solstice, Sky)

they're great but low profit isn't going to help gm.

Perhaps second only to Lori Queen, Lutz is becoming more and more aggressive in calling out what many agree is a bias-driven and begrudging automotive media. A few of his best quotes have come from the 2006 New York International Auto Show, where he added "Most of the analysts living in New York don't even own cars, and have never even visited one of our dealerships,” and "At some point, I start to question whether they're [analysts] holding short positions on the stock."

yes they're bias, but sometimes they are right.

Wagoner and Co. made the pivotal decision of implanting an outsider to revitalize the company. Considering the resurgence of Cadillac, Chevrolet’s new spot as national sales leader and the apparent rebirth of Saturn, Lutz has already made his mark on the company.

As a whole gm is losing market share and the good ol' saying of "wait 'till next year" :stupid::nono:

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Thank you for posting - I enjoyed the read. And, the product that I have seen, the concepts that are 'close to production' and the hints of 'what lies beneath'...all have me reaching for my empty pocket book.

If the 07 Tahoe that I have is any indication of the direction and quality of GM products to come - the automotive 'analysts' had better change thier speech or we will all learn the truth - that they want GM to fail.

Hell, read any review of the aformentioned Tahoe or Escalade/Yukon and all you will see is praise - followed by a 'BUT THE MILEAGE' statement...mine is currently giving me 19 in mxed driving - 50/50 hwy/town. I don't think that is too bad for a 7000 pound truck!

Lutz, you are right about the direction of GM and Right about the idiots who critique your cars...and I will be the first to tell all of you that the 80's and 90's GM cars sucked. - This new stuff is better than any import I have ever been in. period. i just wish I could read about it somewhere. :angry:

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I agree that Bob Lutz is the catalyst this company needed to get back in gear. An outsider, with a take-no-prisoners attitude. Unfortunately, he wasn't given enough power in the beginning, thankfully, his intellect has been noted, and the sales have reached catastrophic lows, so something needed to change, drastically. Great article.

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I enjoyed reading DeLorean's book when I did. Also read a few books by a USA Today writer about roger smith and jack smith. Don't remember the titles, but I think I could figure them out if i put my mind to it. Good Read there!

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Good work tama...well thought out...

Carstar, the Design VP is Ed Welburn, not Ed Wilbur...

I think more people within GM should call the media on their anti-GM slant...

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Good work tama...well thought out...

Carstar, the Design VP is Ed Welburn, not Ed Wilbur...

I think more people within GM should call the media on their anti-GM slant...

thanks for the correction :yes:

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Damn! Do a little bitchin and there are the replies!

Thanks for the compliments guys. I've got a bunch of stuff in the works. Hopefully work will let off enough for me to submit some more.

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Very good article tama. I like what Lutz is doing, although I agree with what a couple of y'all have said about the constant "wait till next year" line, it is getting tiresome, but at the same time, it always keeps us wondering about what will really come out next year.

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I think GM made a big mistake in not hiring Wolfgang Bernhard as a number 2 / designated successor for Lutz.

Lutz is great, but he is only 1 guy, he's not getting any younger, and a company as huge and complex as GM needs more than 1 guy to turn it around. Ideally Lutz would have 4 "mini-Lutzes" all about 45 years old, reporting to him. They would be his shock troops to fight the bureaucratic battles and entrench his changes.

GM is 4 times bigger and more complex than Chrysler therefore needs 4 Lutz's.

Lutz should have been both more empowered and more accountable. For all his genius he's made some mistakes - inflexibility of Kappa, the initial Zeta program going off track then delayed. Probably because he's juggling too many balls. And who his is successor? GM by now should have groomed 3 or 4 strong contendors for his job, the most important in the company. A beer for anyone who can name them.

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LUTZ IS THE MAN.

RUN AND HIDE TOYOPET, ....THE PARTY IS OVER.

I HEAR GM IS GOING TO TALK WITH PENSKE ABOUT STOMP'IN TOYPET TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN JUST TO STOMP ON THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN,

UO,RAH !

NEVER FIGHT AGAINST AN EX-MARINE...EVER !

THE "GENERAL".... IS BACK IN CHARGE.

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LUTZ IS THE MAN.

RUN AND HIDE TOYOPET, ....THE PARTY IS OVER.

I HEAR GM IS GOING TO TALK WITH PENSKE ABOUT STOMP'IN TOYPET TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN JUST TO STOMP ON THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN,

UO,RAH !

NEVER FIGHT AGAINST AN EX-MARINE...EVER !

THE "GENERAL".... IS BACK IN CHARGE.

ROOAAAR!!!

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