I had the special opportunity for a one on one exclusive interview with GM vice chairman Bob Lutz. I apologize for the sound quality as we had to go to a place where the mobs of reporters wouldn’t besiege him, and there was a lot of background noise. You may have to turn up the volume to hear it well. The video appears below. I have summarized our conversation as follows:
I asked him about whether the Cadillac Converj would be produced. He said he wanted it to be and said the production clay model is already built and essentially identical. He notes financial difficulties limit the certainty for moving ahead. He also said the government would have to clear it as being worthy of advanced technology loans. He said it would be an internationally accepted vehicle.
I asked him how much the car would cost, he said about “two Volts”.
I asked if he believed GM was responsible for the auto industry’s recent rapid focus towards electrification, and he said he did.
I also asked him why electrification was so important for him. He mentioned the need to displace oil and to achieve legislative efficiency requirements.
He also explained how he believes in three years battery packs will be “way down” in price.
I asked him whether GM could build packs for other companies as a new business considering their new pack assembly plant plan, and he said he saw no reason why not, although said it hadn’t been contemplated yet.
He said the Volt program production volumes remain unchanged despite GM’s financial situation.
Lutz said he does feel Volts wouldn’t sell as well if gas stayed at $1.50 per gallon, and that at first they won’t make GM a profit.
He said the Converj would cost only slightly more than the Volt to build but yet could be sold at double the price and actually make money for GM, and that’s one of the reasons why he said he’s so enthusiastic about bringing the Converj to production.
Bob Lutz GM Interview January 2009 from Lyle Dennis on Vimeo.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2009 at 7:51 am and is filed under Cadillac, Original GM-Volt Interviews, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.