Industry veteran Bob Lutz rejoins General Motors
The outspoken and colorful auto industry veteran Robert A. Lutz, who has worked for all the major American car companies and retired from General Motors Co. in May 2010, has resurfaced. He is going back to GM to work as a part-time consultant.
Lutz, 79, started a second stint at GM in 2001, charged with revitalizing the automaker's vehicle lineup. He stayed with the company through its brief sojourn into bankruptcy in 2009. He helped push a new generation of GM autos -- including the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Camaro -- into the marketplace.
The vehicles have sold well, helping GM to rebuild its brand. Through the first eight months of this year, GM has accounted for one out of every five autos sold nationwide.
Lutz retired from his post as vice chairman of General Motors Co., ending a 47-year career in the industry, a little more than a year ago, but did some consulting work for Lotus, the British sports car company.
He’s known for his blunt speech and love of cars.
"Look, people," Lutz quotes himself in his recently published memoir, "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business," as once having told a group of executives at General Motors. "I tend to have a lot of ideas and strong views which are not necessarily correct.... I know I'm full of crap a lot of the time."
For the record, 3:20 p.m. Sept. 2: A previous version of this post left the word "five" out of this sentence: Through the first eight months of this year, GM has accounted for one out of every five autos sold nationwide.
-- Jerry Hirsch
Photo: Bob Lutz with a GMC Acadia SUV. Credit: General Motors