GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Defended Remarks Dismissing Global Warming as a "total crock of s--

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Comments: 2

February 23, 2008 

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's recent comments on Global Warming created a firestorm in the blog world. This lead to his post on the company's Fastlane blog defending himself. At the time I was not aware of the controversy that resulted. That was until today when I saw a link to a story on the Drudge Report of all places.

I find this worthy to write about because of the very fact Bob Lutz's statements calling global warming a "total crock of s---," and saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicle, paints a negative image of General Motors and the industry. This was not the first time Lutz has done this but this has been a common theme in much of what he has been saying on the subject of fuel economy in general.

Bob Lutz's statements at the 2008 Automotive News World congress back in early February were my inspiration to write the "The Automobile Without Cheap Oil" article.

I am very sorry to inform Lutz, in the past few years the global public has shown increasing awareness and concern related to the environment. Personally, I would have never thought a year ago, former Vice President Al Gore would have won an Academy Award for the movie Inconvenient Truth but also received a Noble Prize for his work on the environment. A year ago, I would not have ventured to guess, the US government would mandate a 35-mpg CAFE requirement or the Hybrid Toyota Prius to be one of the best selling vehicles in the US.

This article is not intended to debate either way if the theory of global warming is right or wrong, but to highlight the growing importance environmental issues are to the public including how this factors in to the purchase of automobiles.

Instead of stating his real opinion Lutz should be telling the public, the car companies hear what the public is saying and are taking the necessary steps to improve fuel economy, reduce C02 emissions and make the automobile environmentally friendly. GM for many reasons dropped the ball with hybrids and has been playing catch up to Toyota. Toyota now wears the environmentally friendly halo these days and generates positive press resulting in sales.

What I find so ironic is Lutz is supposed to be a product guy and well aware of what the customer wants. He is often hailed in the press and respected for his candor and openness. Maybe Lutz who is over 70 years old, has lost touch with what the market and customers consider to be important. His recent candor in my opinion illustrate that point and certainly has damaged the great strides GM has made in turning the public's opinion about the company.

Lutz is entitled to his opinion but his statements are damaging and have reflected negatively on GM and the industry. These public statements are also tired and destroy the credibility of the company. I also suspect many are tired of the same old excuses and rhetoric from the auto companies.

GM may wonder why they get so little respect in the press. Lutz's arrogant statements fuel the fire and make people question if anything has changed at these companies over the years. I know that is not the case and GM is quickly becoming a very dynamic company. The company has spent and will continue to spend money to develope fuel efficient and low polluting vehicles. However, unlike the general public I have a good understanding of what goes on in the industry and even I am appalled at Lutz’s statements. Time to sell the company and industry as part of the solution instead of making comments that will alienate the public and reinforce in their minds the auto industry is the problem. By the way the public just happens to be potential customers.

 

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Comments
Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:13 am
Name: Charlie | Comment: I long ago came to the conclusion that if GM were to survive Rick Wagoner. He has presided over years of failure. One of the few good things you could attribute to Wagoner was the hiring of Lutz - the car guy. Mr. Lutz has done a lot to invigorate GMs product line and I looked up his acquistion as a bright spot - until this dumb comment. You are right on wondering how a product guy could be so out of tune with the public. As a long time GM believer and suferer, I should have known better. I'm not sure if what I believe has much relevance any more for GM. Its fate is going to be determined by people like my son and daughters. They are the real public that's going to determine GM's fate after all, not old foggies like me. On that score, I'd say "bitterly disappointed with Lutz's bone headed words." GM you have to fight for your future. Wagoner must go. Find a younger, more forward looking version of Lutz. He should probably go too.

Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:21 am
Name: haypops | Comment: Lutz really hit a foul ball on this one. I wonder how much of the publics resentment of the bridge loan issue is reinforced by his attitude.

I suspect that I am alone on this, but I think that Lutz's attempt to brand Pontiac as a performance brand or as everyones' BMW is yet another foul ball.

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