Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business by Bob LutzIts time to stop the dominance of the number-crunchers, living in their perfect, predictable, financially-projected world (who fail, time and again), and give the reins to the product guys...those with vision and passion for the customers and their product or service. When Bob Lutz got into the auto business in the early 1960s, CEOs knew that if you captured the publics imagination with innovative car design and top quality craftsmanship, the money would follow. The car guys held sway, and GM dominated with bold, creative leadership and iconic brands like Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC, and Chevrolet. But then GMs leadership began to put their faith in numbers and spreadsheets. Determined to eliminate the waste and personality worship of the bygone creative leaders, and maximize profitability, management got too smart for its own good. With the bean counters firmly in charge, carmakers, and much of American industry, lost their single-minded focus on product excellence and their competitive advantage. Decline soon followed. In 2001, General Motors hired Lutz out of retirement with a mandate to save the company by making great cars again. As vice chairman, he launched a war against the penny-pinching number-crunchers who ran the company by the bottom line, and reinstated a focus on creativity, design, and cars and trucks that would satisfy GM customers. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, GM is finally back on track thanks in part to its embrace of Lutzs philosophy, with acclaimed new models like the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Equinox, and Buick LaCrosse. Lutzs common-sense lessons, combined with a generous helping of fascinating anecdotes, will inspire readers in any industry. As he writes: It applies in any business. Shoe makers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys, and supermarkets by supermarket guys.
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Bob Lutz has had his hand at shaping the automotive landscape of the United States for several decades now. He's been at top positions at the Big Three manufacturers; executive vice president and board member of the Ford Motor Company , president, vice chairman, and board member of the Chrysler Corporation , and vice chairman of General Motors. Many vehicles have been designed, manufactured, and produced under his wing, with notable ones being the Ford Escort , the Dodge Viper, and the Pontiac GTO.
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As anyone that follows the electric vehicle market should know, Bob Lutz and Tesla have not always been the closest of friends. The electrification of the automobile is inevitable. But Lutz believed his Voltec plug-in hybrid drivetrain was the key to reducing the country's reliance on oil. In the past decade, he has made frequent statements on cable news and in automotive magazines boasting of the superiority of the plug-in hybrid and regularly criticizing the all electric offerings from Tesla and even those from GM and other legacy automakers. However, in his recent article for Road and Track , Lutz had to admit that the Model 3 made an astonishing first impression on him. He walked up expecting to see "the oft-reported sloppy assembly work, the poor-fitting doors, blotchy paint, and other manifestations of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "production hell" with my own eyes.
He served as a top leader of all of the United States Big Three automobile manufacturers , having been in succession executive vice president and board member of Ford Motor Company , president and then vice chairman and board member of Chrysler Corporation , and vice chairman of General Motors. Lutz received a bachelor's degree in production management in followed by an MBA with a concentration in marketing with highest honors in , both from UC Berkeley ; he earned the latter when he was flying in the United States Marine Corps Reserve 's 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and supporting two of four young daughters by selling vacuum cleaners in Walnut Creek, California. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Law from Boston University in , and an honorary degree of Doctor of Management from Kettering University in Lutz was also an executive vice president at Ford Motor Company. Former Chrysler chairman and CEO Lee Iacocca , who helped steer the company back to profitability after receiving loans from private banks backed by the U. Government in , said he should have picked Lutz as his successor rather than Bob Eaton upon Iacocca's retirement at the end of , but at the time Iacocca and Lutz were not getting along. Eaton was responsible for the sale of Chrysler to Daimler-Benz in which Daimler ended up backing out of in when it sold Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management.
Bob Lutz looks back on the career of the man who made Volkswagen Group one of the largest automakers in the world—by any means necessar By Bob Lutz.
a big little life quotes
Elon Musk quickly took notice of Lutz's praise.
Bob Lutz: Live & Unleashed (And Yes, He Talks About Tesla) - Autoline After Hours 436
They're rarely profitable and often extremely difficult to engineer. So why do automakers even bother? Type keyword s to search. Bob Lutz. Car Culture Sep 23, By Bob Lutz. Profiles Aug 27,
Tesla Model 3s are a rare sight in Michigan, since our laws don't permit factory-owned dealers. But the strongly motivated Tesla fan can procure the car in neighboring states. I was eager to see the oft-reported sloppy assembly work, the poor-fitting doors, blotchy paint, and other manifestations of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "production hell" with my own eyes. But, when next to the car, I was stunned. Not only was the paint without any discernible flaw, but the various panels formed a body of precision that was beyond reproach. Gaps from hood to fenders, doors to frame, and all the others appeared to be perfectly even, equal side-to-side, and completely parallel. Gaps of 3.