Bob Lutz

  • Aired:  04/09/12
  •  | Views: 15,532

Auto executive Bob Lutz discusses the soul of the American car industry, Mitt Romney and the award-winning Chevy Volt. (6:22)

WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUESTS TONIGHT IS A LONG TIME AUTO EXECUTIVE WHO HAS A BOOK ABOUT THE STRUGGLES

OF THE SOUL OF THE AMERICAN CAR INDUSTRY.

QUICK TIP, THAT SOUL WILL LAST A LOT LONGER IF YOU GET THE UNDERCOATING.

PLEASE WELCOME BOB LUTZ.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THANK YOU.

MR. LUTZ, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THANKS FOR COMING BACK.

ALL RIGHT, I HAVE HAD YOU ON HERE BEFORE.

I SURE KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

LET'S MAKE SURE THE GOOD PEOPLE AT HOME KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

YOU ARE THE FORMER VICE CHAIRMAN OF GM.

>> GENERAL MOTORS.

>> Stephen: THE NUMBER ONE CAR COMPANY IN THE WORLD.

>> AGAIN, YES.

>> Stephen: WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND.

YOU ALSO HAD LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AT FORD, CHRYSLER AND BMW OVER THE COURSE OF A 47 YEAR CAREER.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: YOU ALSO HAVE A BOOK CALLED CAR GUYS VERSUS BEAN COUNTERS.

THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF AMERICAN BUSINESS.

WHICH ONE ARE YOU, ARE YOU A CAR GUY OR ARE YOU A BEAN COUNTER?

>> YOU REALLY HAVE TO ASK?

>> Stephen: I REALLY DO.

IT'S MY JOB.

>> UNLESS YOU HAVE CREATIVE PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO DELIVER OUTSTANDING PRODUCTS

OR OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE, ALL OF THE BEAN COUNTING AND ALL THE

FINANCING ISN'T GOING TO DO YOU ANY GOOD.

THE PROBLEM IS WHEN YOU HAVE THE WRONG PEOPLE IN CHARGE.

THEN THE BUSINESS GOES DOWNHILL BECAUSE ALL THEY LOOK AT IS SPREADSHEETS AND

THEY FORGET THE CUSTOMER.

THAT'S WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT GETTING THE WRONG PEOPLE IN CHARGE, OKAY.

BECAUSE YOU WERE-- YOU WERE AT GM WHEN OBAMA CAME WITH HIS DIRTY GOVERNMENT MONEY.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: THAT FILTHY GOVERNMENT LUKER --

>> THAT WAS OUR TAXPAYER MONEY,S THAT HE OKAY.

>> Stephen: TAXPAYER MONEY.

THE BIG AUTO BAILOUT WHICH WAS A COMPLETE FAILURE.

>> WELL.

>> Stephen: AND A GOVERNMENT OVERREACH AND A TAKEOVER OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY THAT IS

THE SHAME OF A NATION.

>> HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO RUSH LIMBAUGH?

>> Stephen: I'VE GOT A FEED INTO MY EAR RIGHT NOW.

NOW MITT ROMNEY, YOU'RE A CONSERVATIVE RIGHT.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WE HAVE TO GET BEHIND MITT ROMNEY.

OKAY, HE'S THE CANDIDATE.

>> I HAVE TO, EXACTLY, YES,

I WILL.

I WILL DO MY DUTY.

>> Stephen: OKAY, YOU SHOULD,

ALL RIGHT.

JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND THINK PRETTY THOUGHTS.

>> EXACTLY RIGHT.

>> Stephen: HE SAID LET'S LET DETROIT GO BANKRUPT.

>> I KNOW.

>> Stephen: THAT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

>> NO, WELL, I THINK HE THOUGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO AT THE TIME.

BUT IT WAS AN UNWISE STATEMENT AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON TO

LET THE AUTOMOBILE BUSINESS GO DOWN.

>> Stephen: THE FREE MARKET WOULD HAVE HANDLED IT.

>> OH, COME ON.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU NOT A FREE MARKET GUY.

YOU BELIEVE IN GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION THAT IS THE KIND OF CONSERVATIVE YOU ARE?

>> I'M A CONSERVATIVE PRAGMATIST.

AND ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WOULD STEP IN WITH LOANS FOR ITS AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY.

>> Stephen: THIS ISN'T ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, SIR THIS IS AMERICA.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) YOU WANT TO LIVE IN ANY COUNTRY THERE ARE PLENTY OF ANY COUNTRIES OUT THERE.

THIS IS THE US OF A, SIR.

>> YEAH, UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: SO O 3W578A GOT TO CALL THE SHOTS.

WHAT KIND OF CARS IS HE DESIGNING.

>> IF OBAMA CALLED 9 SHOTS,

THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T CALL THE SHOT ITS.

THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDED MONEY, WANTED US TO MEET THE LAW SO GENERAL MOTORS LIKE

EVERY OTHER COMPANY HAS TO MEET FUEL ECONOMY REGULATIONS.

BUT WE'RE STILL DO CORVETTES.

WE'LL STILL DO 5 -- HORSEPOWER, 560 HORSEPOWER CAMEROS.

ON THE OTHER END WE DO CHEVROLET VOLTS BECAUSE WE DO HAVE TO MEET THE FUEL ECONOMY LAWS.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE VOLT, OKAY.

THE VOLT, LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE THE VOLT WAS COMING OUT.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: IN A YEAR.

NOW THE VOLT HAS BEEN OUT.

NOW THERE IS CONTROVERSY OUT THERE.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: I HAVE MY FRIENDS AT FOX NEWS HAVE BEEN OUT THERE.

>> THEY HAVE.

>> Stephen: THE CONTROVERSY IS, YOU KNOW, SOME SAY IT'S A FAILURE AS A CAR.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: SOME SAY IT'S DANGEROUS.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: WHICH IS IT ?

>> (LAUGHTER)

>> GEE, THAT'S-- I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THAT.

ACTUALLY, THE CAR IS A HUGE SUCCESS.

MARCH WAS RECORD SALES, 2200 SOLD.

AND THE EXPECTATION IS IT IS GOING TO BE ABOUT 3,000 A MONTH FROM HERE ON OUT AND

IT WAS ALSO JUST RECENTLY NAMED YOUR PAIN CAR OF THE YEAR BY A JURY OF 50 EUROPEAN AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALISTS.

I WANT TO POINT OUT IT'S THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY THAT AN AMERICAN-DESIGNED AND

BUILT CAR HAS ACHIEVED EUROPEAN CAR OF THE YEAR.

BECAUSE THEY USUALLY KIND OF DISDAIN U.S. PRODUCT.

>> Stephen: THEY'RE VERY.

>>Y.

>> THEY HAVE AN ENHANCED SENSE OF THEIR OWN INFALLIBILITY WHEN IT COMES TO AUTOMOBILES.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: BEFORE WE GO,

THE MOST-- HOW OLD OF A MAN ARE YOU, DO YOU MIND IF I ASK.

>> HOW OLD WHAT.

>> Stephen: HOW OLD OF A MAN ARE YOU.

>> 80.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE 80 YEARS OLD.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION COY ASK YOU IS, DO YOU DO GYMNASTICS?

>> NOT LIKE THAT.

>> I DO DO 40 PUSH-UPS EVERY MORNING.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: DOUBLES?

>> Stephen: STEPHEN COLBERT VERSUS AN 8 O-- 80-YEAR-OLD MAN DOING PUSH-UPS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) USA LAM USA LAM USA!,

CIRCUMSTANCES USA LAM USA!,

USA!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

BOB

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