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Bob Lutz - Is he making the grade?

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  • saltysamsaltysam Posts: 5
    Here's an opinion from a 78-yr old car guy who has owned a '65 Riviera, a '555 Ford Convert.,a XK-120,a slew of Cameros,and even an Isetta, along with the present SEC 380 and a 99 SLT.

    The entire GM stable is entirely too confused and complicated for today's auto world. No more does the old tyme structure work for GM. IMHO today's buyer seeks excellence. He/She can find it if they search worldwide at the chosen price point. All these super cars are sold in the USA. GM does not market such a high degree of excellence. Vast organizational change is required if folks such as Bob Lutz are to have a chance to work their beautification schemes.
    Cheers!
    Bill
    olde USN Fighter Pilot
  • transpowertranspower Posts: 185
    Most GM vehicles use old engines and old transmissions. How many V-8's are available? How many 5-speed, 6-speed, or CVT's are available? Does GM have anything like the Jeep Quadra-Drive II? No, to all these questions. I agree with the poster who calls himself "AnythingButGM."
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    One assumes that you are speaking of automatics, and yes GM does have a 5 speed. And, yes they have V8s, including DOHC VVT V8s. Clearly you are quite clueless.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Lutz is one man, an older man, and GM is the largest auto co in the world.......do you think it an embarassment that such a co would require to be 'saved' by one man????....pathetic GM.GM is it's worst own enemy...every technology, design, execution, safety, etc is last rate. Just a few recent notables.....equiping it's Lacrosse etc with archaic engines, 4sp trans.....showing them in black in commercials to hide their less than attractive design ie Ford's Five Hundred, then offers rebates because the car is uncompetitive. Saturn's CRT failure, Fiat 2 billion $ fiasco, Wagoner and prior chieftans clueless about production, another bean counter, one that will be rewarded like Smith etc with a golden parachute worth millions for having overseen yet lower market share. The Cobalt and G6, only decent cars, replacing the leading volume car of ea div after umteen years....Toyota and others had 3 generations in same period, always Kaitsu I believe ie slow progressive improvement vs GM clueless redesigns. GM saw the [non-permissible content removed] coming 30 yrs ago, yet continued to pay, pension, and retire it's most inefficient workforce the highest amounts.......now they are concerned about explosive costs??? it's ludicrous. Just look at what Ghosen did to Nissan in 5 years!!!!!........GM deserves and will be eliminated in the marketplace, probably in 10 years.
  • elageeelagee Posts: 1
    I'm sure that my opinion has been said over and over by the previous 100 messages but my 2 cents is as follows: Except for the Cadillac and Corvette the Gm styling is drab, old fashion, and very tired. My last GM car was the 1992 STS and since then I've not owned any GM cars. Recently, my wife went shopping for a new car--hers being a 5 year old Lexus--and quickly discounted any GM models. Then she saw the Chrysler 300 and fell in love with the styling and bought the car after her test drive. Lutz needs to understand that styling is a major component considered by most buyers of new cars.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Furthermore, GM cars, with a few notable exceptions, rank dead last in safety, customer satisfaction, durabilty,etc.........just look at Consumers Report, MT, C & D, Autoweek,etc...even thea Koreans are killing them of late in competitive contesta......and they entered the auto business only in the last 20 years!!!!GM has demonstrated it can't get it's act together, repeatedly. It's both entertaining and sad hearing every CEO in the past 30 years proclaiming to the public 'we will turn around revenues, or market share, or earnings' The only pronouncement with any validity that we will all soon hear is GM is bankrupt, closing it's plants, and firing all it's grossly overpaid/inept mgt and line personnel ie leave the business to the automotive producers that designs attractive reliable cars.....is this rocket science or what, given they have been producing cars for about 100 years now???
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Sometimes, usually in fact, I chock when I hear how many engineers GM employs................given the Cavalier, Trans Am, Grand Am, Regal, etc are ANCIENT RELICS before a redo........and then it's done to a very low benchmark. How can a co employ so many inept professionals for so many decades.........GM has a systemic problem, and only their elimiation in the marketplace, which surely is arriving sooner than later,will solve. Related is FMC......similar awful cars, for years.........Mustang(former), Grand Marquie, Crown Vic, Tarus, Focus, Sable, Continental, etc.......all relics, like GM......and what does this inept co do for new designs???.....use the Mazda 3 and 6 for virtually every damn car in the past few years and coming several years.......eg Lincoln's Zepher etc. This co to should be eliminated from the competitive landscape, and surely will.
  • gearhead4gearhead4 Posts: 122
    Vision.
    That's what it takes for someone in Lutz's position to turn a big organization like GM in the right direction. It's hard to visualize what product will sell and when.
    Could Lutz forecast that the price of a barrel of oil would be at an all time high in March 2005? Could Lutz see that fickle SUV and truck buyers would find that operating costs are too high?
    And what about total vehicle sales dropping? Today, even the best selling automobile in the American marketplace (Toyota Camry) must be discounted to move vehicles ($750 rebates and other incentives).

    I wouldn't be too hard on Lutz.

    gearhead4
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    What is the point of a post like this?

    Most of what you claim is in fact, dead wrong.

    GM's current lineup of vehicles in whole have above average safety, customer sastisfaction, durability and consumer ratings.

    GM executives are paid fairly modest amounts, considering executive payment in the US in general.

    GM has among the lowest level of middle management of any large manufacturing company on the planet.

    Sure there are problems, largely related to pension and current employee medical payments. The cars could have more pizazz.

    Simply throwing off fabricated complaints is a waste of everyone's time.
  • davies1davies1 Posts: 2
    GM has been looking for easy fixes-GTO Australia-give me a break! Pumping up the HP on the GTO and Chevy ssr isn't the sales answer either. Now had they dropped one of the F bodies, say the Firebird, and concentrated their efforts on the sweet Camaro, now that would have been a good business decision. Not selling enough Camaros? Well when was the last year GM actually spent a dollar advertising them before they pulled them. GM had the answer in front of them and let it slip away.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Agree that the STS is overpriced. The ceiling for the STS should be around $55K, (loaded - everything in and on it) and the V-6 version should start somewhere in the upper $30K range. I would buy a new STS in a minute if it weren't for the ridiculous price. As a result, my next Caddy may end up being a DeVille or DTS."

    Exactly my thoughts, lemko.........
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    There are already something like 2 or 3 GM bashing threads already in progress. Can we keep this one focused on things Lutz actually has a hand in?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    But I always liked the Firebirds styling better...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Who's bashing????? (They're an easy target though, they do plenty wrong...) We're just saying, that's all..... I still think GM is too big an elephant to make tap dance....
  • davies1davies1 Posts: 2
    I am not GM bashing I am simply pointing out the obvious. GM's decision making is not based in sound logic. A truly dedicated refresh of the F body could have really started a fire in buyers.Do I need to point out what Ford has accomplished with the Mustang. Whether you are a Ford person or not, you have to admit the new /old Mustang is a huge success. Compare that with the GTO or SSR. GM's price points for the new introductions are right off the scale. Again compare to the Mustang or the final iteration of the f boby cars. Now if Lutz had guts he would have his designers creating a new camaro instead of importing warmed over goat.
  • Nobody bats 1000. GM is like a giant ocean liner and it can't turn on a dime. I believe he is making an impact which is helping. I would want him on my team if I were at GM. But one man may not be able to do enough to fix all that needs fixing at GM. Time will tell.
  • tommctommc Posts: 68
    In today's car market often perception is reality and, well, reality factors in too. GM is perceived as a lower quality manufacturer and dealer service is becoming poor, and today's consumers are aware of this more than ever. Being the head of the company this perception is squarely on Lutz's shoulders.
    Just for fun (?) consider we bought a new Blazer in 01, a loaded up two door two wheel drive. Service at selling dealer was terrible, both routine lube service and warranty service. Took to another dealer and pretty much the same result. Now we find that we are driving the most unsafe vehicle in America, worse than a Kia! I'd guess our trade in value is about $500 now with 16,000 miles on it. Not a happy camper here.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    To turn things around, Lutz must fill the exec suites with his own people. When Iacocca was at Chrysler, he brought his own people over from Ford. I don't know about the current GM execs, but probably they were Wagoner's men; one was his basketball buddy at Harvard B. Being a finance guy, his buddies are all money men.
  • 4444444444 Posts: 8
    He would not be where he is unless he is GRADE A
    period.
    Stock holders want results yesterday and maybe they should get them. Mid-America has always been stuck on Buick LaSabre and the Unlimited series
    that has been their bread and butter.
    They need to intro. a 2dr & 4dr with a $ range
    of 14,995-22,995- plus options offer 2 engines in
    both manual in all with optional automatic. The Skylark of old did not do that badly. I do not have #'s on Colbalt but the marketing was and has been good. Where as Ford's Five-Hundred marketing was a waste of money.
    It use to be car marketing was to make you feel good that you bought the right car now it is to drum up a demand for the product.
    I believe Opel wants back in America and with that 2 seater they have a winner.(gas saver as well)
    Give bob 16 months. He does need to get rid of a mini-van though. 44444
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "He would not be where he is unless he is GRADE A period..."

    OK, here's your first lesson in corporate America:
    Cream rises, it's true, but poop floats too.

    Fact.

    Not saying Lutz isn't top drawer, but rank is no indicator ever.

    Period.

    I believe the man has vision. I also believe asking one man, or rather one tenure, to turn a hulking beastie like GM around is like trying to build a bridge with spaghetti. You need some extra support there.

    I don't know who posted it back up there, but if Lutz had free rein to overhaul the ship of fools from stem to stern and keel to crow's nest with his own hand-pickin's, it might be a different story. Might. There's one hell of lot of inertia at play here.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    In simple terms Lutz isn't living up to the hype, imo.

    What I really don't like is the excuses. I mean he's been there since what 2001? If the cars coming out now aren't of his doing, or at least somewhat of his doing then when do we officially get an all "Lutz" product?

    The GTO is definitely his. GM would have never brought this car over on their own. Too expensive they would have said. There is no market for coupes (a lie), they would have said.

    I like the SSR, don't matta' what nobody say..lol! This is one cool truck that just this year got the engine it should have had in the first place.

    I'm simply not impressed by any other GM product other than the Corvette. Everyone is ga ga over these new Cadillacs, but they're too unattractive for me, which makes me wonder what they would have looked like if Lutz hadn't got involved. The STS could have looked worse than it does now? The XLR is ok I guess, but in that league ok doesn't cut it as sales have proven. The CTS while very popular has never, ever been the class leader GM promised.

    That said, future Saturns (Aura,Sky) show promise. I'm in favor of making all Saturns Opel based becaue the current Saturn lineup is truly awful, especially that Ion. He couldn't have stopped this car or at least held it back until it was made to be an improvement over the car it replaced? Future Buicks (Lucerne and the rwd Park Ave replacement) show promise, the LaCrosse doesn't. It is a Grand Prix stuffed full of sound deadning material.

    Since this is a topic about Lutz, my biggest problem with him can be summed up in one word - Saab! He thinks the few Saab buyers that exists are complete idiots to try and pass a Subaru and a (gasp!) Chevy off as Saabs.

    Ok, the Pontiac Solstice is the first all "Lutz" product or no? If it is does anyone here think it will match the new Miata?

    I agree, he can't change GM by himself, well he probably could if he had 20 years to do it, but he doesn't. What happens when he retires? Who will replace him? BTW, when does his contract run out anyway?

    M
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,139
    *** Could Lutz forecast that the price of a barrel of oil would be at an all time high in March 2005? Could Lutz see that fickle SUV and truck buyers would find that operating costs are too high? ***

    Let me put it a different way: Could Lutz foresee the risk of having all GM's eggs in one basket in a fickle market? Because everyone in the press has made a big stink about Detroit being too dependant on their trucks for some time now.

    I've said this before, and will say it again--Lutz is a has-been. I'm driving a 2004 Canyon right now, and I see way, way too many parts that have been reused from the Sonoma, starting with the seats, continuing to the steering column, and that insipid all-in-one stalk.

    Between myself and my immediate family, we have purchased one domestic car since 1988 (and four domestic pickups). All the rest were imports.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    You simply are so WRONG......either you are a GM employee or living in the dream world, and I do not say this disrespectfully, but you, like all of GM for the past 30 years BLIND TO REALITY. I could give you COUNTLESS article that reveal GM cars as last place. JD Powers (ever hear of them??) and Consumers Report (see April 05 issue), places GM customer satisfaction for most of it's vehicles dead last, the poorest safety (can you believe GM is only now/April to shut the Linden , NJ plant that produces the single most archaic and most fetal accidents of ANY CAR IN THE US...the Blazer???? Dependabilty???.....just look at all those red bullets for GM cars, and most FMCs, and you will understand why virtually every new and past 30 year vehicles are the poorest rated. They can't even keep the names for very long because of horrible past history.......when have you heard of a Honda Accord, BMW, etc droping a name??? I could fill pages of the disguisting garbage GM produces, and the inept people behind them deserves to be ALL fired. They have squandered more money on ill fated cars, divisions, and technologies than the entire world combined!!! Just in the last few months I, by chance, read of this ongo litney ie failed/discontinued GM trucks with retracting roofs........supplier of the rood sueing GM for not even reaching 10% of expected demand. GM drops quadrasteer, again because of little/no demand, Saturn CVT dropped from most Saturn lines because of defieciencies.............got the message, they had 30 years to prepare for the [non-permissible content removed], Europeans, ie competitors, and have failed miserably........it's now time for them to fold their tents, loose their jobs....all predicted by me years ago, and I was once a GM car buyer.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Clueless........GM spends 4X the average in incentives to move their garbage, and still manages to loose unprecidented market share..........Camray etc offers incentives to exceed by a heady amount last years, same period sales, to occassionally boost their relentless and well deserved assention into dominance, while burying the ineffiecient, poorly conceived, executed, and managed GM vehicles. Look, do you honestly thing giving tons of G6s away on Oprayh(most were sold off on ebay) or having T. Woods a spokesperson serve any remotely good thing???....oh yea, as Woods made over 30 million Buick sank to decades low sales........nice move GM. Why do (heres a novel idea) take all this ill spent wasted money and improve the seats and design of the rear passengers for the silly G6........my sister's old 92 Camray was infinitely more comfortable than the G6 I recently rented.........you see I have always hoped that GM would save itself, but is clearly not ever going to happen.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    What are you smoking man??? GM employs over 57,000 engineers, and ONE or a FEW good managers aint going to make a bit of a difference to a co that has seem 9 series of 'new and different management' in 35 years........the only thing is certain that all these AHs will get millions in golden parachutes for overseeing unprecidented loose in market share, market cap, reliabilty, customer satisfaction......enough said ie fire the idiot Lutz and every one else........then buy 10 year old Toyaota, BMW, Honda, Subaru etc technology, produce cars off shore in China.......then GM will survive, maybe not given they are all so terribly inept/blind/.
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Again TODAY, Safari etc worst safety record/deaths of any mini van in the US!!!.........a few wks ago it was the Blazer the worst/most fatalities of any SUV in US!!! The point??? while both vehicles after being on the market for DECADES are finally going away.....what a disgrace that ANY car co/mgt can support 20 yr old designs for so long ie it's more profitable to do nothing attitude.....how idiotic is this????!!! Other examples of unbelieveabe poor decisions can fill a book, and I'm only a car enthusiast. The Cavalier, Sunfire, Camaro/Firebird, Trans Am, Impalas,Regals,etc, were relics when replaced, and were the volume leader frequently for the division....what does this say about a practice that continues for 35 yrs?????? Look at Buick, it has a few but the worse SUV in the entire business, why???????? No one except a Buick sales person probably ever even heard of these dinosaurs.........oh, the grafting on a hood of a 8 yr old uncompetitive series of minivans really was a smart idea as well......does GM/Lutz and co folly ever end.......oh yes it will, with the demise of GM........hopefully it will go bankrupt in a few years.And the pension and health care benefits??? All to grossly generous(paying a hs drop out $55/hr is absurd), were approved by GM inept mgtm for DECADES!!!!.........and now they are complaining????l.......just like they complained about the [non-permissible content removed] invasion 25 years ago....they are now on our soil and eating it's lunch while burying them(GM and Ford).............do you see pattern here or not??? GM stock in now at a 10 yr low.........most analysts predict it will go down to pennies, already eclipsed by Nike etc, and Toyota alone is worth 8 times GM capitalization ie worth.........still think my points are not well directed.......get off your pompous attitude.....again you are likely a GM employee or a retiree and don't like to see the plain truth. GTO??? Lutz had an influence on this fiasco also ie selling at 15% of projected volume. Do you realize that EVERYTHING THIS IDIOT DID WAS TO MAKE THE HOLDEN MONACO A WORSE CAR??? Lutz removed the side air bags(costs:-)), replaced an attractive front grill with a 20 year looking Grand AM one, moved the gas tank into the trunk providing one big enough for about 4 loaves of bread(I realize it was a safety hazard but could have sunk it and recontoured the trunk floor, but oh no, that would have cost about $50/vehicle...what folly. Then the idiot says Pontiac didn't have enough time to reroute the tail pipe to creat a badly needed cosmetic lift to the rear, in the same breadth he claimed to have 'tuned the exhaust sound' through extensive sound chamber tests........do you see how an incompetent person/Lutz, and a similarly inadequate/inept co/GM repeatedly shoots itself in the foot...........now it's aiming for it's own head in the marketplace......and it's getting very good at it!! You deserve your own demise!!!
  • branch2branch2 Posts: 10
    Yea, so does Mazda6 and others have 5 speed, for about 50%less money:-)!!!Many of GM's v6 in use today go back to the 70's for cryin out loud, and souund like John Deere's at high revs.......I know this, because frequenty I am forced to rent GM, all are junk......even my clients complain occassionally about the poor erognomics in the back seats of 2002-05 GM mid and full size sedans.......GM deserves their consistently poor ratings by every metric, by every car magazine, and by the public that rejects such garbage ie GM is going out of business for sure. Did you know ONLY GMs lending business(auto, mortgage,etc) made any money in the NAmerica market in the past 7 years?????..........I can't honestly think of anything nice to say about GM or Lutz, except the Saturn Vue has attactive ext color choices, but tips dangerously, rear wheel disaster recalled, steering is super unnatural/disconcerting.......oh yea,I did think of a second nice thing to say about the Vue..... it's Honda V6 is the ONLY thing mechanically decent on this vehicle, ditto poor design, quality, reliabiltiy for all it's other cars.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,252
    Consumers Report is NOT a statistics-gathering company with authoritative knowledge. They gather anecdotal reports and their own opinions along with what will sell magazines.

    MT, C&D, Autoweek are more like asking teenagers what car they would like to own. Nothing practical in their opinions of transportation choices for those with incomes below $200K and who drive only the chic item for the month.

    (Too, "its" does not have an apostrophe.)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,252
    >JD Powers (ever hear of them??) ... places GM customer satisfaction for most of it's vehicles dead last

    Please provide a link for JD Power's results to support that statement. Last I checked my Buicks were rated highly, I believe above Honda, but I'd have to search for some old links to state that.

    As for you Consumer Reports as a reference, please see my earlier post.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "MT, C&D, Autoweek are more like asking teenagers what car they would like to own."

    I have to disagree with that. Car and Driver does pretty good with their test drives. Now their comparos are a little skewed towards sporty driving dynamics for sure, but their individual road tests are usually spot on imo. Motor Trend, while getting better by having some editors from England's CAR Magazine on staff now, used to be last in value - I'd agree. Autoweek is an extreme hit or miss affair. Its better to read their Autofile section in which actual owners write in on the car to see how the car is doing in the real world. Some of AW's roadtest or comparos are pretty lame too, imo.

    But Car and Driver - can't agree with you there. I've found so many things they've said to be very true upon driving the car in question for myself.

    If you don't look to the mainstream auto press for opinions who do you think is good at evaluating cars? Consumer Reports?

    M
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