Former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz joins electric-vehicle start-up company VIA Motors
Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman has taken a position at a start-up maker of electric cars called VIA Motors. Lutz, who had retired from GM in March of 2010, has just returned to GM on September 2nd as an part-time adviser of product development, design, and marketing, and that position will not change, according to a GM spokesman. As a member of VIA Motors' board of directors, Lutz will help the privately-owned fledgling automaker raise money and partner with other automakers.
Lutz said in a statement released by VIA Motors "In my long career working with GM, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW, I considered the Chevy Volt the most important car we had yet made. I am now pleased to join VIA Motors to expand the vision of extended range electric vehicles and help build the next generation of electrified trucks, vans, and SUVs." VIA Motors already manufactures extended-range electric powertrains for GM full-size pickup trucks, and plans to test 35 of them with fleet customers, like the Pacific Gas and Electric utility company. VIA Motors COO and former GM exec Alan Perriton said "Trucks have been notorious for poor fuel economy in the past, but when electrified, they can have a much greater impact on reducing oil consumption and emissions than smaller vehicles, while offering a much faster payback."
Lutz, 79, has said that his contract precludes him from consulting with other automakers, except for Lotus where he's already a paid part-time adviser. However, GM spokesman Alan Adler said today that Lutz is allowed to work with companies like VIA Motors. There's no word on whether the two companies will collaborate or share other electric vehicle technology.
Source: Automotive News