Bob Lutz made it fun

Peter Brown is publisher and editorial director of Automotive News
When Bob Lutz rejoined General Motors in 2001, I wrote that he'd be worth billions to GM -- if Rick Wagoner could tolerate some "mistakes and the occasional insult to one corner or another of his company."

And now the Lutz era is over at GM.

Yeah, he had to backtrack on "damaged brands." (They WERE damaged; now they're dead.)

And he gained scorn in some circles for call global warming "a total crock of shit."(Stephen Colbert ate him up on the motives for GM's environmental initiatives.)

GM's fine product lineup is Lutz's legacy.
But in 2010, a post-bankruptcy GM has a darned fine product lineup -- great trucks, attractive crossovers, refined cars -- with luxurious interiors that would have been impossible pre-Lutz.

The lineup is Lutz's legacy.

Bob Lutz is the most human, most open guy in the auto industry. As one of his former colleagues at Chrysler told me last week, Bob Lutz made it fun.

I miss him already.