There will be dramatic changes, however, including a much greater focus on hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as more conventional cars. But GM’s affordable performance heritage and the pickup trucks and SUVs that once made it the biggest carmaker in the world won’t be forgotten.
With a bankruptcy filing looming closer, Lutz explained to Automotive News that a "smaller but leaner" GM would be able to sell cars in the complete automotive rainbow - from high-powered sports cars to small hybrids. In the past, he has admitted that GM vehicles could be unremarkable and suffering from "mediocrity", but the future he promises will be very different.
The embrace of hybrid technology is different from the Lutz we knew of old, who at one point called climate change a “theory”. However, it seems as though the reality of the situation has finally hit home for GM. Lutz has even become a champion of President Barack Obama’s auto industry task force, which is overseeing the restructuring of GM. He revealed that the task force should become a permanent fixture in the auto industry to promote a dialogue between companies and government.
Lutz is well known for his Republican stance and his initial hesitation about government regulation of the auto industry, but he says he had a change of heart when he recognized that even members of the auto industry task force could be fans of cars - most notably when some of the members were keen to find out the release date and cost of the upcoming Cadillac CTS Coupe.
Despite all his posturing about the changes and future success of GM, Lutz won’t be around to actually play a direct role anymore as he’s set to retire at the end of the year. His replacement has been named as Thomas G. Stephens, who will report to GM CEO Fritz Henderson.