Bob Lutz has graced more vehicles than anyone, or maybe even himself, ever thought he would. With loads of knowledge and experience under his belt, it’s safe to say Lutz has some credible opinions. During his latest interview, he shared a few more of them.
CBS MoneyWatch recently sat down with the ex-General Motors executive to pick his brain on quite a few topics, including what it means to be a “car guy”, Tesla (his favorite) and autonomous cars. Most of the topics he has covered in the past, but it was interesting to hear how he felt on a few other subjects.
Specifically, he was asked what motivates young people into purchasing a vehicle, following Toyota’s decision to shutter its youthful Scion brand. His answer was quite the contrary, saying young people can’t afford a new vehicle, so they pick out a $10,000 BMW instead. Here, they receive a respected badge and an affordable payment. He also stated lease payments help move cars to younger buyers, too, explaining it as so:
It’s depressing to say, but the number one motivator is a low monthly payment. A great motivator is still the brand. That’s why brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have an easy time leasing out vehicles at low lease rates. People say why, should I take a Chevy Traverse when for the same monthly rate I can have a BMW 3 series, and everybody will think they have succeeded.
He stated during his time in the business, he remained focused on delivering vehicles that would make people happy, and never looked at the business as just another way to earn a buck, self-describing himself as a car guy. Naturally, this led into a discussion over autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing services, which he felt have enormous potential.
“Are they coming? Are they inevitable? Are they going to be the only long-term solution to urban congestion problems? Yeah, I am a big believer.”