Bob Lutz, General Motors’ vice chairman of product development, arrived in a new Camaro to address fleet buyers and vendors at the GM Fleet & Commercial Product Preview on May 9 in Charlotte, NC.
Lutz said the removal of about $9 billion in cost represented great progress in implementing the North American turnaround plan. Upcoming challenges include a resolution with bankrupt parts supplier Delphi, union contract negotiations and volatile fuel prices.
Lutz cited as a major advancement the reorganization of GM’s product development team into one global architecture. The previous generation used five regional architectures with no “inter-buildability.”
One global product team will lead to more precise product execution, shorter lifecycles, better quality, lower cost and an increased focus as a design-driven company, Lutz said.
GM’s approach to reducing fossil fuel consumption entails a strategy of “energy diversity,” Lutz said. This means taking a variety of approaches, including improving current gasoline and diesel engines, and investing in E85 ethanol, hybrids, fuel-cell vehicles and electrical cars such as the Chevrolet Volt concept.
“We are committed to changing the DNA of the automobile and being the industry leader in advanced technology,” Lutz told the crowd.