Official: Bob Lutz, Jackie Stewart among Automotive Hall of Fame inductees

Filed under: Etc., Celebrities

Bob Lutz

Jackie StewartThe Automotive Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees, and both Bob Lutz (above) and Jackie Stewart (right inset) are among the lucky handful of honorees. A total of ten individuals from automotive past and present are being inducted for 2013. Those include Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, the duo who founded Aston Martin some 100 years ago, as well as David E. Cole, the founder of the Center for Automotive Research. Cole also served as the director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation.

Bob Lutz likely needs no introduction. He’s served as an executive with multiple automakers, but is most well-known for his time at both Chrysler and as General Motors vice chairman. Jackie Stewart, meanwhile, remains one of the world’s top racing drivers. Having competed in Formula One, Can Am and nearly every other venue that pits two cars against each other or the clock, Stewart is a legend of motorsport.

The Automotive Hall of Fame is also giving the Distinguished Service Citation Award to four individuals, including Bo Anderson. Anderson is the president and CEO of Russia’s GAZ Group and is largely responsible for helping turn the company around. Neil De Koker, founding president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association will also receive the award as will James McElya. McElya helped steer Cooper-Standard through a difficult restructuring.

Bob Lutz, Jackie Stewart among Automotive Hall of Fame inductees originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: GM trying to re-hire Bob Lutz

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, GM

Bob LutzGeneral Motors is reportedly looking to re-hire none other than Bob Lutz as a consultant to vehicle development. Lutz, 79, left GM in May of 2010 after leading the company’s product development efforts for many years.

The push to rehire Lutz reportedly comes from GM CEO Dan Akerson’s initiative to rush development and reduce cost of its new crop of vehicles. The United States government, which currently owns one-third of GM, has apparently opposed Lutz’s re-appointment, with The Daily Beast saying that the U.S. Treasury is reluctant to re-hire Lutz on the grounds that paying him so close to his retirement could look like a “sweetheart payout.”

GM recently promoted Mary Barra, 49, to senior vice president in charge of global product development, even though she has very little experience in the field. By bringing Lutz back, GM hopes to regain an intelligent eye into strategies for quick product development, as well as marketing and design. Thanks for the tip, Phrime!

[Source: The Daily Beast]

Report: GM trying to re-hire Bob Lutz originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Feb 2011 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lutz’s “secret weapons” inspire new ‘knothole’ process at GM

Filed under: Chevrolet, GM

Chevy Orlando Knothole

It took many years to learn of former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz’s “secret weapons,” but the cat is out of the bag. We recently learned that those secret weapons were a quartet of auto journalists that were put on the payroll to assist GM in the product development process, and now they serve as inspiration for what’s known as the ‘knothole’.

In a recent interview with The Detroit Bureau, GM North America’s Mark Reuss talked about this system, which drives The General’s product development process. The Bureau gave Reuss the credit for creating the process, though Lutz and his band of super journos no doubt served as motivation. But the Knothole isn’t just some process implemented to validate what management wants to be true. On the contrary, Reuss says products have been delayed or killed when the knothole finds them unworthy. For example, have you ever wondered why GM decided not to sell the Orlando here in the United States? Knothole. It’s also why the Cruze didn’t arrive Stateside when the Europeans got it. Reuss claims there were two other unmentioned models that got the ax, while others were delayed until they were ready for prime time.

So, what’s the goal of the knothole? Reuss correctly points out that if a GM vehicle is merely competitive, there is no way Toyota or Honda owners will break brand loyalty. But if GM makes vehicles that are better than the competition in every way, die-hards loyalists could eventually head into GM showrooms.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

Lutz’s “secret weapons” inspire new ‘knothole’ process at GM originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Feb 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bob Lutz gives Lotus a 60% chance of success

Filed under: Lotus

Bob Lutz in front of reporters

If anyone knows about turning things around, it’s Bob Lutz. After all, he was a naval aviator, and those guys can pull some serious G forces. He’s also widely credited with keeping Chrysler alive for longer than it might have been otherwise. But what’s he up to these days?

Well for one thing he’s sitting on the senior advisory board for Lotus, giving Dany Bahar and company some guidance as they endeavor to usher the House that Colin Built into a new era. And an ambitious endeavor it is, rolling out five new models all at once while expanding its motorsports program tenfold and then some.

So what does Lutz think of Lotus’ chances? Well he’s optimistic, but cautiously so. Lutz reportedly gives the prospects at least a 60 percent chance to succeed, but importantly, he thinks it’s more viable than the company’s current path. According to Lutz, “It’s a risk. But I’m quite certain it stands a better chance than the Lotus status quo, which for sure would eventually lead this great brand into terminal decline.”

In other words, while there are no guarantees, it’s a good plan – not a perfect one – and it’ll take some good ol’ fashion elbow grease to make it work – something Lutz knows all about.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Stan Honda/AFP]

Report: Bob Lutz gives Lotus a 60% chance of success originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Dec 2010 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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