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

  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?