Bob Lutz: The Automotive Era Is Ending

Car culture is definitely changing, but can it change in a relatively short amount of time?

Bob Lutz thinks so.

As one of the top executives at General Motors, Lutz championed for the creation of the Pontiac GTO and G8, the return of the Camaro, and the introduction of the Cadillac SRX.

Lutz is a gearhead but also a cunning businessman who has a knack for seeing trends and predicting the future of cars.

In 2008, for instance, he said that the electrification of the automobile was inevitable. By 2010 he had successfully guided the Chevy Volt into existence, and today, the future of EVs is, indeed, inevitable.

Just wait ’till you hear what he’s saying now. Continue reading >>>

America’s Newest Supercar: The VLF Destino


We don’t hear the name Bob Lutz much anymore these days.

Back in the late 2000s Lutz’s name was slathered across car blogs and news sites as General Motors navigated toward, and then through, bankruptcy. Lutz, who served various executive roles at GM between 2001 and 2010, is known as a hardcore gearhead and is a huge supporter of muscle cars and big engines.

After retiring from GM, Lutz surprised no one by starting another company, VLF Automotive, that he announced would build a supercar from the ashes of the Fisker Karma.

This week, he delivered on that promise.

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Miss Pontiac? Blame Obama


I like the Blame Obama jokes. Politics aside, I love to hear about minuscule problems blamed on our president.

Tired of Nigerian e-mail scams? Blame Obama.

Burn your toast this morning? Blame Obama.

Hate the fact that you can no longer buy a new Pontiac G8 GXP, or any other new Pontiac? Blame Obama.

That last one might actually have some truth to it, if the president’s name is synonymous with the federal government and if former GM exec Bob Lutz is to be believed.

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Green Update: Lutz Keeps on Truckin’—Now with VIA

VIA truck

At 79, Bob Lutz is not your retiring kind of guy. He recently signed on as a special advisor with GM, as we reported. He’s on an advisory board for Lotus Cars.

Now he has cut a deal to work with VIA Motors, a small Utah startup company that does electric conversions of Chevy trucks, vans and SUVs.

One thing about Lutz: Despite his reputation as an old-line, hard-line car guy who embodied all the worst aspects of “brand management,” Lutz has changed his mind and his attitudes on many things, becoming a big advocate for electric vehicles and a new business model for Detroit.

It’s pretty clear that the man who promoted and helped create the Volt found a company in VIA that would take plug-in technology to the next (range-extended) level. VIA specializes in converting Chevy commercial vehicles for extended-range fleet use.

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Lutz Again on GM’s Payroll: Bringing Back Value?

Bob Lutz has always claimed the bean counters ruined GM, and he has written a new book, Car Guys vs. the Bean Counters, to back this up. I haven’t read it yet; maybe you have.

Now, the company’s former head of product development has returned as a paid special advisor (salary not revealed) and, as before, he’ll advise on “anything and everything,” said GM spokesman Jay Cooney.

According to Lutz, this new arrangement now has the Feds’ blessing and doesn’t diminish present management, which he thinks is doing a very good job. “It’s just making my broad experience and, arguably, my skills in leadership and general automobile business available to the company.”

“Arguably” is what Lutz is all about, including an outsized ego and an outstanding and contentious career in the auto industry. There is no question, however, that his passion and insight have helped immeasurably in GM’s revival.

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