GRUYERE, Switzerland -- Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who retires May 1, says General Motors Co. finally has its priorities straight. He spoke with autonews.com Product Editor Rick Kranz and other reporters last week.
GM's prospects for success:
The company is on the right track. As far as senior leadership is concerned, they got the right people in the right jobs.
Whether killing Pontiac was wrong:
No. While I loved Pontiac, I think Pontiac was on the cusp of finding an identity -- a moderate-priced, high-performance brand focusing primarily on rear-wheel-drive vehicles. We were on the cusp of really getting that going, and a new demographic was starting to buy the G8 -- real performance-car fans.
Why GM kept Buick:
We didn't want to let Buick go because Buick was also on the verge of a resurgence. And the tremendous importance to the company of Buick in China.
The project of which he's most proud:
The Chevy Volt. At the time, when electric anything was a dirty word at General Motors after the EV1 financial disaster, the Volt was hard to get going and hard to get approved.
Other points of pride:
Being instrumental in making the organization aware of product excellence in sheet metal execution, fits and finishes, paint, interiors and getting that renewed commitment to great styling.
On being a full-time auto executive at age 78:
There is something that gets old about getting up at 4:30 in the morning. At some point you have to do something new.