Bob Lutz, GM’s veteran product chief, has been uncharacteristically quiet of late while his company teeters on the brink of collapse.
After all, he's Detroit's genuine ‘car guy’ who has worked for GM and Chrysler – plus BMW – is never afraid to speak his mind and flies fighter jets in his spare time.
The 76-year-old veteran is usually on the frontline, a loose cannon, firing gold-dust quotes to eager reporters.
“Global warming. What a crock of s**t,” was one of his best.
We thought GM had locked him in the basement of its Detroit HQ while it struggles to persuade skeptical congressman that it's a green-thinking going concern.
But no. I’m pleased to report that Maximum Bob is back. And he’s trying to save his under-fire boss Rick Wagoner.
“If Congress wants a sacrifice, it should be me,” Lutz bravely declared this afternoon. “I’m older,” Lutz said. “And I’ve made politically incorrect remarks about global warming, so it should be me.”
“This is the equivalent of the Incan days,” Lutz went on, “when everybody would go to the top of the volcano and throw a virgin in. It’s the feeling that if we make a sacrifice that somehow the gods would be appeased.”
“It just infuriates me to hear supposedly intelligent people describe the GM of the 1980s as if it was today.”
Maximum Bob added that there was no better CEO than Wagoner, and that GM’s boss should get more credit for streamlining the company from the flabby giant it was in 2000.
Would Lutz falling on his sword bay the Washington politicians who are thirsty for executive blood? I don’t know; but I can’t help thinking that Bob's legendary charisma and energy could prove more useful in GM’s ongoing fight with Congress right about now.