GM: Lutz Is Cleared For Take-Off May 1

  • March 3, 2010
General Motors says Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman, maximum car-guy and former Marine fighter pilot, will retire, effective May 1. He retired from GM before, so don't discount his coming back again.

The long-time auto industry executive, who besides working for GM in Europe in the 1960s, held executive positions at BMW, Ford and Chrysler, where he put his stamp on vehicles like the retro Plymouth Prowler, and Dodge Viper, rejoined GM in 2001, as the head of product development.

The company says Lutz decided to retire now in part "because hot-selling vehicles like the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Camaro, along with the growing strength of GM's four brands, prove that a product-focused mindset inside the company is in place for the long term."

"I can confidently say that the job I came here to do more than nine years ago is now complete -- the team I have been fortunate to lead has far exceeded my expectations," Lutz said in a statement. "Our product lineup is as strong as it has been in GM's history. The perception of our products and brands is beginning to catch up with reality. And most importantly, the absolute commitment to being a product-driven company is ingrained throughout the organization -- from the top down -- and I am confident that, under Ed Whitacre's leadership, the straightforward, singular focus on product will endure."



Lutz, a GM vice chairman, was appointed senior advisor in December 2009 and will continue to provide guidance on design and key product initiatives until he retires, per the company.

Relatedly, GM has also tapped Selim Bingol as VP communications, effective March 8. Bingol will report to Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO.

Bingol will have overall responsibility for GM's global communications, including global products and brands, corporate, public policy, executive support, and internal communications.

He was most recently senior vice president and senior partner with Fleishman-Hillard. Prior to that Bingol was SVP of corporate communications for AT&T.

Bingol succeeds Chris Preuss, who was appointed VP and president, OnStar, to lead the company's global infotainment and connectivity initiatives.--Karl Greenberg

Next story loading loading..