General Motors make today are more stylish, have nicer interiors and crisper lines, then you are making a certain retired 79-year-old former Marine pilot very happy.Virtually everyone with a pulse working in or around the auto industry knows of Bob Lutz, the recently retired "product boss" at GM. But there is a good chance the average buyer of a Chevy Malibu, Cadillac CTS or Buick LaCrosse has not. In short, Lutz is the guy who rode into GM in 2001 like Wyatt Earp to clean up a design and product development system that had spawned some of the worst looking vehicles to ever come out of Detroit.In 2010, Lutz, depending on who you listen to, either retired or was retired by the new crew of management at GM ushered in by the White House as part of the tax-payer funded bailout of the automaker. In his retirement, Lutz, always one of the most outspoken and media-handy executives in the auto business, has written a book full of his gripes, wisdom and musings about GM, the bailout, and the … [Read more...] about Former GM Product Boss Skewers Management And Business Schools
Mba vs executive mba
I’ve often wondered if there is a relationship between the decline of the automobile’s cultural relevance, and the decline of the larger-than-life auto executive. Clearly the car’s waning ability to excite, inspire and shape material culture is a complex phenomenon with no single cause, but it’s got to have some kind of connection to the people making the cars. After all, the original Mustangs, Corvettes, and Model Ts emerged from firms led by such oversized presences as Lee Iacocca, Bill Mitchell and the original car-guy-as-folk-hero, Henry Ford. Today there’s no shortage of brilliant, engaging, passionate people working in the car industry, and yet few contemporary executives have made the kind of cultural impact that their predecessors once did. This, in a nutshell, is why Bob Lutz fascinates me: though he never made as wide of a mark on popular culture as an Iacocca or DeLorean, he’s one of the last remaining links to an era in the car industry … [Read more...] about The Ten Myths Of Bob Lutz
If you were busy not going blind with boredom watching the State of the Union pep rally last night, you missed President Obama’s callout to GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra. An intelligent and accomplished engineer and executive with an MBA from Stanford, she seems to be unable to get away from the facts that (1) she’s female and (2) she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. To quote the prez directly: They believe, and I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. That’s what drew our forebears here. It’s how the daughter of a factory worker is CEO of America’s largest automaker. Follow Car and Driver on FacebookNot to discredit Ms. Barra or her father’s hard work, but is her ascent truly a Horatio Alger–level tale of an escape from poverty? Ray Makela, Ms. Barra’s father, worked for 40 years as a tool-and-die maker … [Read more...] about Why Did Obama Cite the GM CEO’s Father’s Factory Job as an Example of the American Dream?