GM's Car of the Future Sparks Doubt in the Present

Even top exec fears hybrid will fail to herald new start for automaker
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2009 12:19 PM CDT
Robert A. "Bob" Lutz, Vice Chairman of Global Product Development at GM, is ambivalent about the new Chevrolet Volt.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Success has many fathers, and for the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt, paternity claims could stretch from Detroit to Washington. But if the GM hybrid turns out to be an orphan, it could be because many of its backers, including a top GM exec, are ambivalent about its potential to rejigger the company’s gas-guzzling image, Michael Leahy writes for the Washington Post.

Bob Lutz spearheads the Volt’s 2010 rollout but remains devoted to the SUV era and calls global warming “a crock.” He says the Volt is GM’s future, yet insists hybrid-mania is a coastal phenomenon. Lutz knows “GM's survival hinges on a successful fight for the souls of American auto buyers. It just so happens his soul has been one of them.”