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Lutz Gets Ahead Of Himself On The Cadillac Converj

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Speaking of Cadillac: Bob Lutz has championed the Cadillac Converj since its first appearance at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Although it debuted as a concept vehicle, there was soon a great deal of chatter about the Converj creeping toward showrooms, and this past Sunday, Lutz said in no uncertain terms that the "Cadillac Converj is cleared for production". However, neither the Converj nor Lutz's statement have been cleared by John Howell, Cadillac's global product director. Looks like we've got another Pontiac G8 incident on our hands. For details, on the maybe/maybe not model, check Nelson Ireson's report at MotorAuthority.

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Comments (4)
  1. Doesn't Lutz outrank any of the division directors at GM? If so, I don't think Lutz has to ask any of them for permission. GM needs more guys like Lutz willing to stand up with some backbone.
     
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  2. I'm still a little iffy on what, exactly, Lutz's title is anymore. However, since the bankruptcy, he's essentially served on the marketing side of things.
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    If that's still true, then I think Howell would outrank Lutz. The product director determines what goes to market; the marketing guy simply makes sure that what goes to market gets sold. To be sure, Lutz has a long history with GM, and his opinion still carries a good bit of weight, but I think he lost some luster during the most recent reshufflings. His end, IMHO, is likely drawing nigh.
     
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  3. Richard,
    If I recall, in Whitacre's recent reshuffle Lutz was moved into the vice chairman position and is no longer in the marketing side. Not sure what that means in the reporting structure, or who has the right to say what.
     
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  4. Hmm. GM hasn't updated his bio on its own FastLane blog since 2005, and Wikipedia doesn't have the most recent info, but in most news articles, he's listed as vice chairman. My question is: vice chair of what? Does that make him Whitacre's gopher? Sounds like an honorary position to me -- a fairly substantial demotion. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him go, once Detroit is fully behind him.
     
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