Lutz, GM end consulting pact
Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, with the Chevrolet Volt in November 2010.
Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
DETROIT -- Bob Lutz's 15-month stint as a paid consultant for General Motors has come to an end, the former GM product czar said today.
"My contract ended on Dec. 31st" and both sides decided not to renew it, Lutz said on the sidelines of the auto show here. The 80-year-old, who retired from GM in 2010, declined to elaborate.
In a statement to Automotive News, GM said: "Bob Lutz is highly respected by leaders of our company and the industry, and we value his unvarnished opinion, insight and perspective."
In September 2011, GM disclosed it had hired Lutz as a part-time consultant "to provide counsel to the senior leadership team of the company."
At the time, Lutz said he already had been informally advising GM executives, including CEO Dan Akerson and product chief Mary Barra. Neither side disclosed terms of the contract.
Upon his hiring, Lutz said his work would include design reviews and consulting on marketing and communication matters. After eight years as head of GM's product-development enterprise, Lutz led GM's marketing for about a year before his retirement.
Lutz said that in one of those earlier meetings with Akerson, he urged the CEO to greenlight the Cadillac Converj concept car that was shown at the 2009 auto show here. Cadillac debuted the production version of the sports coupe, the 2014 ELR, at a packed news conference today.
Lutz started his automotive career at GM and later worked at Ford Motor Co., BMW and Chrysler during a storied career.
He returned to GM in 2001 as vice chairman in charge of product development.
He's credited with a revival in GM products that has been vital to the automaker's emergence from its 2009 bankruptcy.
Lutz is a director of Via Motors, a startup firm that equips full-sized pickups with plug-in hybrid powertrains for sale to fleet buyers.