The name Bob Lutz isn’t one that’ll draw a lot of cheers around here. Lutz is considered to be the man behind the decision to axe so many potential new Saabs last decade, after all.
But ask anyone in the press about Lutz and they’ll tell you they loved him. He was preferred interviewee #1 for the motoring press because he was outspoken and always gave the interviewer a real story they could write about.
I’ve had it mentioned to me in the last few days that Victor Muller is the new Bob Lutz. This was from a member of the US automotive press, one who had interviewed him recently at the 9-5 launch in the USA.
The comparison is due to the fact that Muller, like Lutz, can talk up a storm and every time he fronts up to a microphone, he gives the journalist something they can take away and write a real story about.
Occasionally, Lutz would get himself into some real trouble, like when he called global warming a crock of $h!t. No matter what your position is on that particular issue, I think all would agree that Lutz’s public airing of his own beliefs wasn’t a wise decision because of the possibility he’d alienate so many of GM’s customers.
In that recent interview with Fox, VM had to stop himself from talking about a premium carmaker that Saab are looking to share technology with. I don’t think that was theatre. I think he really did need to take a breath and control his comments because he was getting more and more in depth about what they were looking to do and who they were looking to do it with.
As much as I didn’t like Bob Lutz because of the way he treated Saab, I did like the way he was outspoken and there’s no doubt that when he spoke, people listened.
I’m all for VM having the same amount of ‘pull’ with the press and I’m quite confident he can keep the controversial stories in the bottom drawer and focus on the real stories concerning Saab.