Bob Lutz has seen a lot of things over his career in the automotive industry. He’s been at each of the Big Three American automakers and has influenced countless projects. In his latest interview, Car and Driver picks at the former executive’s brain on a number of topics to provide some insight.
Lutz iterates more than a few times the auto industry as we know it today is slowly dying. In fact, he gives it 20 years before brands won’t matter nearly as much as they do today, and more automakers begin consolidating to save capital. He specifically references the Lincoln brand (which he feels will never be aspirational) and Chrysler.
When asked about the car he is most proud of, it’s no surprise the Chevrolet Volt comes up.
“Everybody laughs, but the Volt—the most difficult to accomplish in a corporate environment. So much advanced engineering in a car we knew we’d sell at a loss.”
Overall Lutz says he never regrets working for a major automaker, but he does think some things could have been different at Chrysler.
“And I regret never being the CEO of a major auto company. If I’d not frequently treated Lee Iacocca with such disdain, I think there’s a good chance I’d have been CEO at Chrysler. But I was sort of a smartass, and I’d take on Lee in big meetings. His message after that was ‘ABL’—Anybody But Lutz.”