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Bob Lutz reportedly to stay on at General Motors

Thu, 09 Jul 2009

Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman and internationally renowned product guru, has reversed his retirement plans and is expected to stay with the remade car company as it charts a new path out of bankruptcy.

Multiple media outlets are reporting Lutz, 77, has changed course and will not retire from GM at the end of the year as he had planned. Automotive News, citing anonymous sources, says the veteran industry leader will stay on at the company, possibly in a marketing or communications role--and could have product input.

Earlier this year, Lutz's pending retirement was announced as GM spiraled toward bankruptcy. He's been replaced as product boss by Tom Stephens and has been acting as a special advisor since then.

Lutz is one of the most high-profile executives in the car business. He's been with GM for eight years and is credited with turning around its bland product line. During his watch, the company has produced eye-catching cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Solstice, revitalized its Cadillac brand and won industry honors for the Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura sedans.

Lutz's future is expected to be announced at a 9 a.m. press conference Friday in Detroit, where the company likely will announce its emergence from bankruptcy.

He previously was president of Chrysler and held ranking positions at BMW and Ford.

By Greg Migliore