MADRID, Spain - J. Ignacio Lopez's troubles were caused by two General Motors executives who 'tried to take revenge' on him after he left GM in 1993.
The flamboyant former Volks-wagen and GM purchasing executive tells his story for the first time in his autobiography, Tu puedes - Memorias de un trabajador (You Can - Memories of a Worker). It was published in Spain by LID Editorial Empresarial in Madrid.
In December, Lopez and three associates were charged in Germany with stealing GM secrets when they left to join VW. Lopez resigned from VW last November. In the book, Lopez called the charges 'just a smokescreen ... to prevent VW from benefiting from my ideas and techniques.'
Lopez says GM Europe Chairman Lou Hughes wanted to build Lopez's lean assembly plant in Poland or Hungary, not Spain.
Without naming them, Lopez apparently blames his problems on Hughes and Opel Chairman David Herman. The two executives aggressively pursued the corporate espionage allegations against Lopez.
The book makes clear that Lopez believes GM Chairman Jack Smith is on his side. He quotes Smith telling a meeting of GM executives: 'Today Inaki has left, due to a serious mistake on our side. ... I hope that we never make a mistake of this magnitude again.'
And he writes: 'They say Jack felt that two American executives in Europe were responsible for all that had happened. Those same people have tried to take revenge for the last four years, with cost no object. ... They are two twisted minds, who have never been able to create anything. They have failed in the missions they have undertaken. But they have power and are very dangerous.'