Bob Lutz (Businessman) Bio, Age, Parents, Wife, Career, GM, Net Worth
Bob Lutz Biography
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Bob Lutz is a Swiss American automotive executive. He served as a top leader of all of the United States Big Three (automobile manufacturers).
Lutz served as executive vice president (and board member) of Ford Motor Company. He was also president and then vice-chairman (and board member) of Chrysler Corporation, and vice chairman of General Motors.
Bob Lutz Education
Lutz received a bachelor’s degree in production management in 1961. This was later followed by an MBA with a concentration in marketing with the highest honors in 1962 both from UC Berkeley.
He earned the MBA when he was flying in the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and supporting two of four young daughters by selling vacuum cleaners in Walnut Creek, California.
Lutz also received an honorary Doctorate of Law from Boston University in 1985. He also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Management from Kettering University in 2003.
Bob Lutz Age
Lutz was born on February 12, 1932, in Zurich, Switzerland. He is 89 years old as of 2021.
Bob Lutz Parents
Lutz was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He is the son of Margaret and Robert Harry Lutz. His father was a vice-chairman of Credit Suisse.
He left Switzerland at the age of seven and spent time in Scarsdale, New York. He became a U.S. citizen in 1943 and returned to Switzerland in 1947 to attend school in Lausanne.
Bob Lutz Wife
Lutz is a married man. He is married to his wife Denise Lutz. At the moment, there is no more information available about his wife.
Bob Lutz Career
After he left the Marines, Lutz spent eight years with GM in Europe before joining BMW serving as executive vice president of sales at BMW for three years. He takes some credit in the development of the BMW 3 Series as well as their Motorsport division.
He was also an executive vice president at Ford Motor Company. At Ford of Europe, he led the creation of the Ford Escort III, and Ford Sierra. Upon returning to the US in 1985, Lutz initiated the development of the original Ford Explorer. He was also a member of Ford’s board of directors. He was a frequent internal political rival of eventual Ford CEO Red Poling.
Chrysler Corporation’s Global Product Development
Lutz became head of Chrysler Corporation’s Global Product Development, including the very successful Dodge Viper and LH series cars.
Former Chrysler chairman and CEO Lee Iacocca, who helped steer the company back to profitability after receiving loans from private banks backed by the U.S. Government in 1979, said he should have picked Lutz as his successor rather than Bob Eaton upon Iacocca’s retirement at the end of 1992. However, at the time Iacocca and Lutz were not getting along.
Eaton was responsible for the sale of Chrysler to Daimler-Benz in 1998 which Daimler ended up backing out of in 2007 when it sold Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management. Referring to the job performance of Eaton, Iacocca claimed that Lutz “would eat him for lunch”.
Bob Lutz General Motors
While at General Motors, Lutz championed the import of the Holden Monaro to the United States as the Pontiac GTO. Other cars said to be Lutz initiatives are such as the Cadillac Sixteen Concept; Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice.
Others are Pontiac G8; Chevrolet Malibu; Cadillac CTS; Buick Enclave; Cadillac Converj Concept, and Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept.
Also, Chevrolet Camaro; Chevy Beat, Groove and Trax Concept Studies; and 2010 Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, and Cadillac SRX are said to be Lutz initiatives. Lutz has also emphasized a need to produce fuel-efficient vehicles, backing the 2010 Chevrolet Volt.
On February 9, 2009, GM announced that Lutz would step down on April 1, 2009, from his position as vice chairman of Global Product Development, to take an advisory role.
He was to retire from GM at the end of 2009. Lutz said that one reason for his decision was the increasing regulatory climate in Washington that would force GM to produce what Federal regulators wanted, rather than what customers wanted. He has expressed skepticism on the issue of global warming.
During a press conference on July 10, 2009, GM stated that Lutz would remain at GM as vice-chairman. He would be responsible for all creative elements of products and customer relationships. His role as vice chairman of Global Product Development would be assumed April 1, 2009, by Thomas G. Stephens, then executive vice president of Global Powertrain and Global Quality.
Lutz, Stephens, and design chief Ed Welburn would work together to guide all creative aspects of design. He would also lead the effort to better guide GM’s brands, and the automaker’s marketing, advertising, and communications teams would report to Lutz in an effort to develop a more consistent message and results.
Lutz would report directly to Fritz Henderson, and be part of the newly formed executive committee. He retired from General Motors on May 2, 2010.
Lutz is currently head of the consulting firm Lutz Communications. He is also chairman of The New Common School Foundation, a member of the board of trustees for the U.S. Marine Corps University Foundation.
Lutz is also vice-chairman of the board of trustees for the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. He joined the Transonic Combustion, Inc. board of directors on May 24, 2010.
Bob Lutz Net Worth
Lutz has an estimated net worth of $10.5 Million.