LA Auto Show: Bob Lutz hastily replaces outgoing Fritz Henderson as Keynote
General Motors Co. CEO Frederick "Fritz" Henderson stepped down last Tuesday after the board determined that the company wasn't changing quickly enough. He was also scheduled to give the Motor Press Guild Keynote Address at the Press Days event before the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, December 2 at 8:30 am. He was replaced with Bob Lutz, General Motors Vice Chairman Marketing Communications.
It is not enough that this once famed, number one company in all of the world of automobile manufacturing is no longer a company owned and operated by creative auto-manufacturing visionaries since the federal government and labor union takeover, it now is beginning to see a brain and experience drain from the executive side of the ledger. After all, the hand picked government Chairman of General Motors has never contemplated building a car in his life before taking his current position ... the once Chairman of AT&T seems more comfortable with area codes as opposed to how one might get from one zip code to another ... in transportation style.
To gain some insights what Bob Lutz might be planning to say as replacement Keynote Speaker to the press gathered at Press Days, here is what he had to say in October to NewsMax's MoneyNews.com.
Bob Lutz as he gave his Keynote Address to the gathered journalists December 2, 2009. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2009)
This excerpted and edited from Street Talk -Bob Lutz: GM Is Roaring Back
By: Dan Weil - Monday, October 12, 2009 11:17 AM
General Motors has taken the steps that will foster its recovery, says Bob Lutz, vice chairman of marketing and communications for the company.
Lutz is a longtime car executive, having held leading positions at all three big U.S. automakers in a career dating back to the early 1960s. With the departure of former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, many have looked to Lutz to help new [and now just departed] CEO Fritz Henderson rebuild and reorient the flagging U.S. auto giant.
“In September (GM) sales were pretty much back to the previous numbers,” he told Dan Mangru of Moneynews.com.
“For fast-moving models that are in very high demand, we have no inventory.”
That includes the GMC Terrain, the Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac SRX. Those cars are selling well, he says[read that as anything but "clown cars"].
“The sad thing is we don’t have enough of those to take advantage of the demand. . . We’re going to have to build inventory up again.”
“We have the product now undeniably, whether you look at the Chevy Malibu, which was car of the year; the Silverado, which was truck of the year; the Silverado Hybrid, which was declared dream car of the year; or the Cadillac CTS, which was Motor Trend car of the year.”
Everyone agrees that GM has the best products in its history now and “arguably the best overall product line of anybody in the business,” Lutz says.
“My problem is that thanks to a lot of negative representations by the general media and now entrenched belief, there are large parts of the American public that don’t have any notion of what today’s product line is. That’s what we have to overcome.”
For the last five years, particularly the last 18 months, GM has been under-advertised and under-marketed, Lutz says.
“There are Americans who, when you say ‘Are you familiar with Buick?’ there are people on the West coast who say “Do they still make those?’”
The new GM is bulking up marketing, he says.
“We’re going to spend the money that it takes to get the word out.”
And the money they're planning on spending will be coming out of every tax paying citizen's pocket.
The actual presentation did not deviate much from what Bob Lutz had to say in the interview with the added caveat that he would not be making any comments on the situation and events that led up to Frederick "Fritz" Henderson's departure.
The keynote address was followed by a Chevrolet press conference at 9:35 a.m. which unveiled the North American version of the Chevrolet Cruze as well as announce that the initial retail market where the electric-drive Chevrolet Volt will be sold. That market is California and will start in partnership with the four major power utilities that cover the major metropolitan areas in both Northern and Southern California.
The Fisker Karma - The 2010 Fisker Karma is a new gas/electric hybrid luxury car. The Karma is a 4-door, rear-wheel-drive sedan built in Finland and distributed by U.S.-based Fisker Automotive, Inc. It pairs a battery-powered electric motor with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder for 403 hp total. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2009)
If you are in Los Angeles over the next week and want to see how some of your tax money is being spent, drop by General Motors and make an extra effort to drop by the Fisker booth ... they are scheduled to receive about $500 million dollars of our tax money through board member Paul Vlocker for their exotic luxury hybrid offering set to sell starting at an entry level price of around $85,000.
The dates of the LA Auto Show are Dec. 4-13, 2009. For more information visit www.laautoshow.com
Source - LA Motor Culture Examiner