Great Idea! Bob Lutz Offers Himself as GM Sacrifice

Tue, 2008-12-09 06:39Jim Hoggan
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Great Idea! Bob Lutz Offers Himself as GM Sacrifice

If Congress wants a sacrifice, it should be me.”

- GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz

We don’t often agree with GM’s head of product development, but on this point, Bob Lutz has a point.

As we reported the other day, Lutz is the quotable character who is struggling to position GM as a conscientious green company, even while continuing to deny climate change and to blame his company’s disastrous condition on everyone but management.

In his most recent gaffe, Lutz told CBS News today that whoever is charged with monitoring the U.S.  government’s auto-industry bailout should look harshly on the negative impact caused by California fuel regulations.

This is vintage Lutz. While praising GM CEO Rick Wagoner for his role in leading GM to the brink of bankruptcy by building cars with the worst fuel efficiency rating among all major auto manufacturers, he then criticizes California for trying to save the company from itself.

It seems clear from the text of the story that Lutz was kidding, or at least making light of the notion that he might get sacked as a sacrificial lamb. But the 76-year-old muscle-car innovator is so determined to be out of step that GM could only be improved if it excused him from service. At some point, the former auto giant has to move into the 20th century. And at that point, it’s pretty clear that Bob Lutz should be nowhere near the wheel.


Every good magician knows that the key to success is misdirecting the audience. You have to draw everyone’s attention away from your ultimate goal in order to perform the trick. Politics is no different, and one of the greatest misdirections in recent memory has been pulled off by the fossil fuel industry.

While most of the environmental movement was (rightfully) focusing attention on stopping the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline from crossing over one of the most vital aquifers in the U.S., the dirty energy industry was quietly building a network of...

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