Robert A. Lutz retired as General Motors vice chairman on May 1, 2010 after a 47 year career in the global automotive industry. Bob may have had his thumbprints on the launch of more cars and trucks than anyone else in the history of the American car business.
Between 1962 and 2010, Bob Lutz worked for a wide variety of organizations, both in North America and abroad. His North American ventures include General Motors , preparing reports, pushing the Pontiac Solstice concept car and championing the import of the Australian Holden Monaro as the Pontiac GTO; Ford, where he initiated the highly successful Ford Explorer; Chrysler, reorganizing product development resulting in the very popular cab-forward LH sedans and the macho new Ram pickup, and conceiving the idea for the Dodge Viper halo sports car; Cunningham Motor Company, which he launched and shortly thereafter padlocked; and a batch of well received products including the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS and Saturn Aura, and last but not least, spearheaded the development and production of the Chevrolet Volt.
His European successes include Opel, where he helped sneak an Opel GT concept car into the 1965 Paris Motor Show ( it was a hit, but his GM bosses weren’t pleased!); BMW AG in Germany, claiming credit for development of the first 3-series and 6-series; and Ford of Europe, in charge of operations.
“Sacrificing future products for short-term financial gains is like a farmer eating his seed potatoes instead of planting them,” Lutz once said.