Lutz "resigns"... [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Lutz "resigns"...

4th April 2005, 11:33 AM
News alert from

"General Motors executives Bob Lutz and Gary Cowger are "relinquishing" their responsibilities for North America, the automaker said Monday. GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagon will take over leadership of General Motors North America."

What does THIS mean for SAAB now??? Lots of shaking down going on at GM...

4th April 2005, 12:12 PM
Bob Lutz I think was a big supporter of "Saab-ifying " other GM cars, so this could mean the end of that, or at least a serious retreat from that and actually developing cars that are not just madeover GM cars.

4th April 2005, 12:42 PM
Topic is quite misleading.

Lutz will focus now global product development and global manufacturing and labor. That would be rather hard to do if resigned.

So I take it as a cautiously positive.

Wagoner will start to micro manage the North America's day-to-day operations.

4th April 2005, 12:45 PM
Topic is quite misleading.

Lutz will focus now global product development and global manufacturing and labor. That would be rather hard to do if resigned.

So I take it as a cautiously positive.

Wagoner will start to micro manage the North America's day-to-day operations.

That's why I have "resigns" in quotes...

Actually - Lutz will be in charge of the global development and Cowger in charge of global production. So I guess that means that Europe willl now get the crappy rebadges that North America has been getting!!:o

4th April 2005, 03:19 PM
As always......I am here to offer you the info, jejejejeje

from Autonews.

Lutz, Cowger give up North American duties
Wagoner takes over GM's most important market

DETROIT -- General Motors executives Robert Lutz and Gary Cowger are “relinquishing” their responsibilities for North America to focus on global duties, GM said Monday.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner, 52, will take over leadership of General Motors North America.

Lutz, 73, who had been chairman of General Motors North America, will focus on global product development. Cowger, 57, who had the title of president of General Motors North America, is to focus on global manufacturing and labor.

“Given the challenges we face in North America, it makes sense for me to assume control of General Motors North America’s day-to-day operations and shorten the lines of communication and decision-making,” Wagoner said in a statement.

In his statement, Wagoner said Lutz had asked to devote all his efforts on product development. “I’ll continue to value his business advice and support, but Bob’s legacy at GM will be in our future cars and trucks,” Wagoner said.

Cowger, Wagoner noted, will be charged with dealing with labor unions to try and find ways to cut costs, particularly in health care.

Rough ride

The changes come in the wake of a couple of rough weeks for GM.

The automaker has been buffeted by Wall Street analysts since March 16, when it slashed its earnings forecast for this year. At that time, GM executives said GM North America was the company’s biggest problem.

GM expects to lose about $848 million, or $1.50 a share, in the first quarter, excluding special items. In early January, the automaker had said it expected to break even for the quarter.

For the full year, GM expects to earn $565 million to $1.13 billion, or $1 to $2 a share, excluding special items — a dramatic reduction from its earlier forecast of $2.26 billion to $2.83 billion, or $4 to $5 a share.

The cuts prompted the major debt-rating agencies to warn that GM’s debt was in danger of falling to junk status. That downgrade could raise GM’s cost of borrowing money and prevent some financial firms from buying its stock.

Fixing North America

At the time, Wagoner and CFO John Devine said the downgrades were due to falling sales and production cutbacks in North America.

“Clearly we have significant challenges in North America,” Wagoner said then. “The rest of our automotive businesses, and GMAC, are running in line with, or ahead of, our expectations.”

Through the first three months of this year, GM sales are down 5.2 percent compared with the same period last year, at slightly over a million units including Saab. But March was good for GM, with sales up 2.3 percent to 420,442 units. GM ran a “March Madness” sales promotion during the month that offered an extra $1,000 on vehicles that had been on dealership lots for more than four months.

GM lost two executives last week, when GM China group chief Phil Murtaugh and Saab Cars USA General Manager Debra Kelly-Ennis resigned


4th April 2005, 05:23 PM
More rumblings inside mothership:
GM to delay launch of next-gen Cadillac SRX; financial problems cited as main factor

JASON STEIN | Automotive News
Posted Date: 4/4/05
DETROIT -- General Motors has postponed the launch of the next-generation Cadillac SRX sport wagon because of the company's financial problems.

In a memo last month, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz told vehicle line executives the project had been delayed. The re-engineered SRX was scheduled to debut in 2008.

Sources say GM also killed plans for an SRX-V performance version. That decision was made late last year.

Lutz's memo was the same one in which he said that GM's rear-wheel-drive Zeta architecture had been canceled.

The company downplayed the delay of the SRX.

"It is definitely not a product cancellation," GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said.

He said the sport wagon will be pushed back only "a few months."

An interior freshening of the SRX planned for the 2007 model year is scheduled to proceed as planned, Morrissey said.

In his mid-March memo, Lutz told employees: "As part of our efforts to address the current business situation we are facing today, we have had to make some difficult product portfolio decisions."

In the same memo, Lutz said GM had canceled a midcycle face-lift of the Hummer H2 and right-hand-drive versions of the mid-sized GMT 361/371 SUVs - the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X.

Lutz said that the number of concept and show vehicles will be reduced, and that projects will be delayed at GM's Specialty Vehicle Activity and High Performance Vehicle operations.

The high-performance operation helped create GM's supercharged engines as well as develop Cadillac's V-Series vehicles and Saturn's Red Line performance versions.

Last month GM said it was canceling all vehicles planned off the Zeta architecture. But Lutz told employees GM was not abandoning rwd vehicles.

"We will continue to evaluate our future rwd plans," he said.

He added: "These cancellations and delays allow us to realign resources to accelerate some of our key strategic high-volume product launches."

5th April 2005, 04:03 PM
Not surprised, The Cadillac SRX has been a flop from day 1... and to think GM cancelled SAABs version built on that platform. SAAB could of had a crossover SUV for 2 years now and not a rebadge.

GM is doing some serious shuffling. I hope this all helps SAAB way.