General Motors’ product supremo ‘Maximum’ Bob Lutz announces retirement
9 February 2009

Bob Lutz, General Motors’ outspoken product boss, will retire from the company at the end of this year, GM has announced.

The 76-year-old Lutz, known for his straight-talking style, will be succeeded by Tom Stephens, currently a GM vice president for global powertrain and global quality.

Lutz will step down from his position as vice chairman of global product development on 1 April to become a vice chairman and “senior advisor” for the rest of the year. He will retire fully in December.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner paid tribute to Lutz. “Bob Lutz was already a legendary automotive product guy when he rejoined GM in 2001,” said Wagoner.

"He’s added to that by leading the creation of a string of award-winning vehicles for GM during his time here.

"His 46 years of experience in the global automotive business have been invaluable to us. I’ve personally learned a great deal from Bob and have very much enjoyed the time we’ve worked together.”

Lutz has worked in the car industry for 46 years, holding key posts at GM, Chrysler, BMW and Ford. He began his career at GM in 1963, having flown fighter jets in the US Marine Corps since 1954.

Perhaps Lutz’s most notorious episode occurred last year, when he was quoted as describing global warming as “a crock of shit”.

He defended his comments, saying: "My thoughts on what has or hasn't been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors."

Dan Stevens

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK