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GM's Bob Lutz talks with DFP's Tom Walsh, rips Wagoner critics, says change has been ongoing

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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:33 PM
Original message
GM's Bob Lutz talks with DFP's Tom Walsh, rips Wagoner critics, says change has been ongoing
Lutz has a few words for detractors of his boss, General Motors
TOM WALSH FREE PRESS COLUMNIST DECEMBER 8, 2008


These are somber, serious economic times but its still hard to hang up from a 10-minute phone chat with Bob Lutz without chuckling.

If Congress wants a sacrifice, it should be me, Lutz declared this afternoon, as he defended his boss, General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner.

-snip-

Like many in Detroit, Lutz has difficulty suppressing his disdain for the comments certain senators and TV talking heads made about the self-inflicted problems of the domestic auto industry.

It just infuriates to hear supposedly intelligent people describe the GM of the 1980s as if it was today, Lutz told me.

-snip-

Against the advice of a lot of people, Lutz pointed out, Rick made an unconventional and bold move to hire me, at age 70, to come in a run product development. You talk about bold moves that certainly was one.

more...

http://www.freep.com/article/20081208/COL06/81208097
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. They better shut up and throw Wagoner to the wolves
You can talk on and on about bold moves but congress wants scapegoats and surrogate scapegoats won't do. Wagoner is one arrogant SOB and I think he has pissed off enough congress members that it has become personal. And if he treats his employees the same way he acted toward Congress they need to get rid of him now.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Who runs GM then? Got any ideas? Even their worst critics say that would be a death knell
How bout some names, anybody with as much experience? Got any suggestions? Huh? Lets hear them.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. I worked for Ford once upon a time. Okay, up 'til June.
So GM was a competitor; what I am about to say is my own opinion, and I may not have ventured it, were I still working at Ford.

Wagoner is actually one of the best things to happen to GM in, well, since forever. I was at a even more hidebound GM years ago, and think he's the right person for this job; his predecessors were the ones to squash improvements. He's been trying - and it's like turning the Titanic in the face of the iceberg - to get the message to his people that it's change or die time.

Frankly, Congress has little room to posture vehemently about any of this, since they casually threw 100s of billions to the finance companies with NO HEARINGS and NO CONCESSIONS. Like I think their new-found religion for handling taxpayer money is genuine...please, I wasn't born yesterday. It's a freaking insult what has happened here, and it should further illustrate to Democrats of all stripes just who is running the show...BIG on-paper money interests, not real product manufacturers. Sad if you truly let yourself think about it.

When the heads of the finance companies who have brought this country to ruin get similarly humiliated in public, then jettisoned, then we should talk about Wagoner. Until then, he might be the only one who can handle GM through its current rework. Frankly, Chris Dodd can go pound sand. He's a dolt and knows nothing about which he speaks.

Flame away, newly-minted auto industry experts...
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. My deepest respect and a deep bow from the waist.
:yourock: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :fistbump:
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
31. Hey, DB, I do what I can!
Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I fell asleep last night before seeing your post. Thanks for the smilie ovation, made my night. :-)
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. I'm anything but an expert and my only contact with the auto industry
is that every five years or so I buy a car. But I do know that first impressions count for a lot in situations like this and the public's first impression of Rick Wagoner and his opposite numbers at Ford and Chrysler was an overwhelmingly negative one. Their tin eared initial response to the private jet hoo ha was enough to get most people pissed off at them for life. And I'm sorry but Wagoner's attitude at the first hearing was extremely condescending.

Personally I'd like to see the financial industry big shots in jail or doing hard labor on road gangs for the rest of their lives. In terms of degree of criminality they are far beyond anything the auto industry fat cats have even dreamed of. But this post wasn't about them and while I agree with you that Sen. Dodd is a loud mouthed blow hole, there are enough others who feel the same way he does that the Big Three aren't going to get what they want without throwing a CEO or three into the volcano. And why do they feel this way? Because they are being bombarde with letters phone calls and emails demanding it from pissed off constituents.

On the scale of scumbags Wagoner and his pals are far below the assholes at AIG or the Merrill Lynch loser whining about his $10 million bonus. But most Amurkins still think they are scumbags.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. But who runs GM then? That was my honest question.
If you want the ship rudderless (Like the Rethugs do, assuring it's demise) who is qualified in the World to replace him? Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche is too old.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. I want the industry to thrive and regain its respect in the world arena
I want it to provide employment for millions and supply the American people with reliable, economical and environmentally safe vehicles as long as vehicles are needed.

But I don't believe this is going to happen with the current leadership or it would have happened already. Or at least started happening.

When I retired they held a big party for me. Couple hundred people showed up. My boss made a speech praising me to the skies. Several of my counterparts opined on how I walked on water. Some staff members privately expressed doubts that the place could survive without me. And there was nobody there qualified to replace me. I thought I was pretty hot shit. But when I went back there a couple years later it had not only survived but grown. And there were a lot of new people there. And very few people even knew who the hell I was.

So I don't know who will replace these guys. But somebody will and the companies will do as well or better with somebody new at the helm. Nobody is indispensible.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. Hi, tularetom - didn't see your reply until tonight, sorry.
Your reply is genuine and honest, at least about the disproportionate media circus the automakers have had to endure for their bridge loan (not bailout, or the free money! as was granted the finance companies).

On that note, would you have found the heads of the finance companies even more disengaged than the automakers, subject to the same questioning? Are you willing, in a spirit of objectivity, to admit that they may have been even more deluded? That's hard to answer, to be fair because it never happened. It kind of stinks to not have a comparison to make an informed assessment, doesn't it?

So folks saw the Big 3 CEOs acting all fat-catty, to paraphrase your reasoning. Do you honestly think, had all of us seen the finance company heads in the same milieu, that we would find them humble, searching, and/or honest? Would we have been likely to GIVE them money, no questions asked, to the tune of 100s of billions of dollars? I am guessing most of us would not.

This is where I am having trouble. It seems many otherwise wonderfully objective people are jumping on a bandwagon to beat up the latest bad CEO. (Translation: right now, the automakers.) It's just baffling, since both are completely different and complex issues (bailing out bad paper transactions vs. preserving true manufacturing capacity). It just seems our priorities went whack here, IMHO.

I do understand your reasoning, and thank you for your response to my little rant. :hi:

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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Good point - the auto guys are to some extent victims of bad timing
If they had come to congress with their hands out BEFORE the Wall Street guys, they would have gotten a much warmer reception. Unfortunately they didn't show up until the public had already soured on the financial bailouts and expressed their unhappiness to their elected officials.

Said officials then had to show how tough they were by beating up on the next group of CEO's to show up with their hand out. Unhappily for the big three, it was their turn in the barrel.
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Lutz should be put in a stockade for a week in Detroit
He is a global warming denier and the worse of the worse on the GM power structure.

I distain this man the most.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Good, and maybe I disdain you more.
One question, do you work in the auto industry? I doubt it. But let's hear what YOU do. You seem to have a LOT to say about the UAW and GM, where is your expertise??????
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. You defend anti climate change assholes that have this much power?
You are the worst representative of UAW on this board and the best defender
of GM corporate mismanagement I've ever seen in your threads.
I support the UAW but not management.... you support management
because your are or were management.


This guy is an asshole and you defend him.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I KNOW he's an asshole, but you didn't answer my questions
I'd like to know more about YOU and who YOU think is better suited to run GM. Avoiding the questions only deepens my disrespect for you.


You don't know who I am or what I do now, and quite frankly, I don't need to defend myself to you. But you as a critic of the UAW and GM need to step up and tell us what the hell is going on here.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Never mind, obviously you are going to choose being a horse's ass
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:44 PM by DainBramaged

Ichingcarpenter
You admitted you that you have brain damage
and have a hard time making rational arguments.
I could do a better job than Lutz. Hire me, I will work for $60k a year




A took you off my ignore list when Obama was elected. I made a mistake.


"Click"

Goodbye. I have no intention of taking you off again. Like most here who claim to support the UAW or labor in general, you don't have the balls to tell us what you do in real life or what makes you an expert. For that reason alone, YOU are a pretender, and I have NO room in my life for you.


And taking that personal shot at me, makes you lower than scum in my book. I think (added after the fact) that you should suffer the same fate I have and then think about how you would like having a life-threatening illness thrown in your face. You have NO capacity to make a rational argument, and to even claim I admitted I ever did (not), is just your way of covering your sorry ass.

Bother someone else. We are done.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. Lutz is a scumbag. I would never buy a GM product so long as he works there. -nt-
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Did you buy one before he came on?
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. No, but then I just bought the second car I ever purchased about 5 months ago. -nt-
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. So, you have never owned a GM car, and you just bought an import or transplant
Thanks for your support. Your braying about Lutz is hollow. And worthless.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. All I know about the guy is that he appeared on Colbert, trying to hawk the Volt...
And he clearly and unashamedly didn't want to be selling the car. When asked about the range and power he kind of poo-pooed it and when asked if the Volt would get you laid he said something about how it would only get you laid with a woman who doesn't wear any makeup. So yeah, if this sexist pig, global warming denying asshole is the guy that GM is going to send on national television to try to hawk their big deal green concept car that is supposedly coming out someday, then they have some serious problems as a company. Why would I have to have purchased a GM vehicle to see that this company clearly doesn't give two shits about the environment?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. (sigh)
1excuse
Pronunciation: \ik-ˈskyz, imperatively often ˈskyz\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): excused; excusing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French escuser, excuser, from Latin excusare, from ex- + causa cause, explanation
Date: 13th century
1 a: to make apology for b: to try to remove blame from
2: to forgive entirely or disregard as of trivial import : regard as excusable <graciously excused his tardiness>
3 a: to grant exemption or release to <was excused from jury duty> b: to allow to leave <excused the class>
4: to serve as excuse for : justify <nothing can excuse such neglect>
excusable \ik-ˈsky-zə-bəl\ adjective
excusableness noun
excusably \-blē\ adverb
excuser noun


If a singular appearance on a COMEDY show formulated your opinion of him, sorry, no soup for you.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. So he was joking? He actually does think global warming exists?
GM sent him out to promote their green car as a big joke? If so, I give them major kudos because that's pretty subtly ironic and hilarious. "Hey let's send that old wingnut curmudgeon global warming denier to promote the Volt on the Colbert Report!" If that's the case, I bow to GM as their corporate sarcasm is clearly over my head.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Parody. Lutz is a car guy a REAL car guy, and he understands better than any of us
the future. He had TRIED to make a joke at a recent auto show, and it was blown up out of context, and then the Colbert Report didn't go off well either.


DO you know ANY successful German comics?
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. You really don't see the problem here?
For all I know the guy may actually be brilliant at his job and he may be integral to GM's operations. That's fine. The point is, if he's routinely making jokes at auto shows that are taken out of context and reflect poorly on the company, why the hell would you keep sending him out as one of the public faces of GM? This just shows terrible management at some level. Maybe I'm totally misguided to blame Lutz personally and the problem is actually with management higher up in the company. I don't know. I'll freely admit that I know nothing about the auto industry but I don't think I'm alone in thinking that he reflects poorly on GM as a brand.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. They stopped sending him out months ago
Just like McLame stopped sending out Carly Fiorina ex of HP for her Faux Pau.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Well, his appearance on Colbert was not even 3 months ago.
Where he said "I don't believe in the CO2 theory"..."32,000 of the world's leading scientists think sun spots are to blame"

"With photovoltaics leave your Volt in a sunny parking lot for two weeks and you'll get a charge." Yeah, this company is really working hard on those environmental solutions. :eyes:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/...
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. The roof panel is reality (no sun roof, sorry), and it won't take two weeks
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 01:07 AM by DainBramaged
what the final capacity depends on is whose panels they choose.


http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/?seo=goo_ |_2008_Chevy_Fuel_Solutions_Lifestyle_|_IMG_Electric_|_Chevy_Volt_FS_General_|_volt


And sorry I don't have such a tight grip on time.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. OMG, you're kidding me. I didn't realize that was an actual feature he was trying to promote.
"Two weeks" is what he said. And again, this is the guy the company sends out to sell their hybrid car?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. I'm moving on, point is now moot.
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. There is enough on Google that proves Lutz is a major asshole
and someone that needs to go. I've printed out his statements
and opinions numerous times but for some reason, a guy that is
a neo-con that rapes the workers and fucks the environment
is someone that GM should keep.

Just do a google on Lutz and he is criticized by the automotive and environmental community.

See? Any attack on GM management is an attack on the UAW.
You can't discuss with this person, even though he has at times
some good posts but they turn into an emotional illogical circular tirade.

I was not attacking him but pointing out some problems we have seen
that he continues to ignore and then puts everyone on ignore if he is proven
wrong.

I would keep the Chair myself, but fire Lutz, so the chair knows his ass is now on the line now.

The board of Directors of GM should be a study on where power is in the US.
That's a hard search to follow the money but you wouldn't be surprise when
you finally see how its tied into bullshit.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
29. Lutz made fucking moronic comments about global warming.
Its not about being "politically correct." It's about being a right wing zealot who doesn't believe in science. Yeah, Lutz is a real good person to send packing.
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
30. Lutz and Wagoner: a pair of dinosaurs.
Dumping them, plus 1/3 to 1/2 the management of GM would be a good start to reviving this company.

Oh, and they need innovation? Don't go to Detroit, go to Silicon Valley (home of Tesla Motors)

But stop using the UAW as a whipping boy. They are not the ones who design the crap cars - the management does.

:evilfrown:
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