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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maximum Bob Rides Again

I love Bob Lutz.

From the recent web chat on GM's Fastlane Blog. Italics are my, er, interpretation.

[Comment From Guest ]
What is your number one priority in your new role and please be as specific as possible?
Bob Lutz: Until I know more about the job I won't be as specific as possible because i might have to recant next month when i know what i'm doing. My top priority now is to enhance the ability of GM to let the public know about what great cars and trucks we build. For all the money spent in the past, this seemingly simple task has eluded us.

Our marketing has been weak. I'm going to fix that.

[Comment From Mike Ruby ]
Bob, will we see in improvment in GM commercials now that you are in charge of them? The new Buick commercial is very embarassing. I've had many family members and friends comment on how dumb it is, plus some of the other poorly done commercials on the Traverse and the "Surprised" commercials that played for about a week over Christmas.
Bob Lutz: Let me put it this way: That Buick commercial tested very well, which is not the same as saying that it's an effective ad. I think you will very quickly see a drastic change in the tone and content of our advertising. And if you don't, it will mean that i have failed.

It sucked and we know it, but I wasn't asked 'cause I wasn't on duty yet

[Comment From Tom ]
How can we get people as hyped up about small cars? Where's the Aveo SS or the Vibe GXP?
Bob Lutz: The best way to get people hyped for small cars is to 1) do great small cars instead of mediocre ones and 2) rasie the price of fuel. As long as Americans pay less than $3 /gall vs $7 in the rest of the world, it's a tough sell. Having said that, the Vibe is gone, and the Aveo will be replaced by an all-new and much more exciting vehicle.

Cheap gas will kill the mini-car, so Obama had better raise the price.

[Comment From Neighbor ]
Did you sell your jet? We don't see you flying around anymore.
Bob Lutz: I sold the Alpha jet due to economic worries, and got a good price for it, but have retained the L39 Albatros so i'm still flying regularly. And if i've failed to entertain you recently you have to tell me where you live or work.

I needed to sell one plane so I could afford a Volt. I'm gonna buzz your house, smart-ass.

[Comment From Nate ]
Does GM have any plans for diesel cars in the US? Or are they banking entirely the Volt and Converj platforms? There appears to be customer demand for diesels as well as the Volt technology. Is there room for low production diesels?
Bob Lutz: For diesels to meet US emissions (US regulations are six times more severe than European) we'd have to increase the diesel surcharge by another $2500 to $3000. The total would amount to about $6000. For that surcharge of $6K, the customer gets a 20% in mpg, but has the privilege of paying for fuel that is 20 cents per gallon more expensive. Show me where this makes sense. Several Europeans and both Toyota and Honda have canceled their US passenger car diesel plans, as have we.

I'm sick of people asking about diesels--there's no way to make money on them right now!

[Comment From Guest ]
Any plans to either filter your comments or perhaps even support the green movement, since you've made such harsh comments against the concept of Global Warming, which upset a lot of people?
Bob Lutz: I obviously won't go out of my way to upset people but since i have a tendency to speak my mind i will occasionally unwittingly do so. I am totally dedicated to reducing petroleum usage, which is one of the reasons i championed the Chevy Volt. My personal opinion on global warming has nothing to do with my professional performance. By the way we just had the coldest June on record in the East, and are in the middle of the coldest July.

Yeah, sorry about that global warming is BS thing. Hey, is it cold in here?

[Comment From ETB ]
Favorite TV shows? No doubt seen Top Gear. Would you consider going and taking on Jeremy Clarkson for us?
Bob Lutz: Why would i want to take on Jeremy Clarkson? He loves the CTS-V and has declared Corvette ZR1 to be the finest vehicle of all time. I love the guy.


Anonymous said...

If Diesel can;t make money why did VW decide to push the diesel engine? Maybe Bob should have said how GM can't make quality diesel engines like VW and Benz so stop asking...

Anonymous said...

GM commercials have sucked for a long time.

ASking for the gas price to rise is stupid. There is a report coming showing oil prices will/should fall all the way down to $20 a barrel here soon. Here comes the $1/gallon gas prices! All right!

I love the Volt tech and the idea. Hydrogen fuel cells will be cost effective at the same time as the Volt. So much for electric cars. So sad... not.

RaceDriven said...

I disagree on diesels, first the US wants use to reduce our use on foreign oil including using gasoline, however diesels are the only options right now for everyone.

Ethanol (E85) isn't in the northeast nor is Natural gas or bio fuels, so guess what people have to drive, so diesels have to be the answer.

And I've seen the VW diesel, they do work, of course if diesel prices are an issue (can you say higher taxes on diesel than gasoline, thats part of it)

Anonymous said...

"It makes my 'nads wiggle."