67 – Bob Lutz: Retired Vice Chairman, General Motors Corporation

bob lutzBob Lutz is one of the most experienced and high-profile auto executives in the world. Having been in the business for almost 50 years, he has left an indelible mark on all three of the big US automakers — most recently GM, where he reinvigorated its previously undistinguished vehicle lineup.

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Although known for building powerful, muscular automobiles, Bob Lutz is also a forward-thinking realist who has stated that the electrification of the automobile is inevitable. He was behind the development of the first clean car, Chevrolet’s Volt, a battery powered electric car that can be charged by plugging into a home electrical outlet.

Bob’s new book is Icons and Idiots: Straight Talk on Leadership. In this management manifesto, Bob profiles the leaders that made the strongest impression on him throughout his forty-seven year career.

Known as Detroit’s “ultimate car guy,” Bob is passionate in his desire to make his automobiles the best in the world, with unparalleled styling, performance, quality, and technical excellence.

He has been the force behind the renaissance of fresh, bold designs and performance engineering in US cars — such as the Pontiac Solstice, Cadillac CTS, the re-designed Chevrolet Malibu, and the Dodge Viper.

Bob’s previous book is Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business. The book is centered around the car industry so familiar to Bob. It’s about what happened to America’s competitiveness and why. Leaders who are predominantly motivated by financial reward, who bake that reward into the business plan and then manipulate the variables to hit the numbers. But Bob maintains it’s the enterprise that is focused on excellence and on providing superior value who will see revenue materialize and grow and be rewarded with good profits.

Before joining GM, Bob is credited with spearheading the turnaround of the then-hamstrung Chrysler Corporation in the 1990s.

Bob Lutz’s knowledge of automobiles is matched only by his organizational know-how. He is celebrated for his legendary ability to manage the design and development of new, spirited vehicles in the face of bureaucratic opposition and organizational inertia.

He is also the author of an acclaimed book on his management philosophy that, as you would expect from Bob, challenges the conventional wisdom of the executive suite: Guts: 8 Laws of Business from One of the Most Innovative Business Leaders of our Time

A breath of fresh air in an industry known for its blandness and tenuous grasp on the changing realities of its market, Bob stands out as a gifted, bold, sometimes brash, always opinionated, and successful executive. He is a contributor toForbes magazine.


  • Member, Lotus Advisory Council, the British sports car manufacturer
  • Retired Vice-chairman, Global Product Development, General Motors Corporation
  • Former President, Chrysler Corporation
  • Former Vice President, Ford Motor Company
  • Former Executive Vice President, BMW
  • MBA, University of California at Berkeley
  • BA, Production Management, University of California at Berkeley
  • Fighter Pilot, US Marine Corps

Check out Bob’s Website: boblutzsez.com