Bob Lutz Slams 'Right-Wing Talk Show Guys' Over Volt

He makes no bones about being a Republican. Yet Bob Lutz, even though he might not work for General Motors anymore, still has plenty of choice words for some fellow Republicans, specifically “the right wing talk show guys,” whom he feels helped put a real kink in the Chevy Volt’s sales curve.

During an interview with Plug In America’s Jeff U’Ren, Lutz gave his two cents on a number of Volt related subjects, saying that in his eyes, early marketing was a bit tepid, which reflected in early sales numbers, though he did say that even then, demand was on a steep upward curve.

But that was until the NHTSA crash test and subsequent probe, which saw, as Lutz mentioned, “the likes of Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh even the beloved Reverend Huckabee, all talking about the highly flammable Chevrolet Volt.”

However, despite the aftermath of all this, namely a shutdown of Volt production to balance output with inventory, Lutz said that based on information from GM, March is expected to have been a record sales month.

He also said that earning European Car of the Year honors was the first time an American designed, and built car has ever won the prestigious accolade.

“You would think that would get a little attention in the media,” he joked, “but don’t wait for O’Reilly to say it.”

Plug In America via Autoblog Green


  • Jim in Atlanta

    I am also a “right winger” and am furious with the republicans. I would add Larry Kudlow to the mix. It seems they would rather send their billions to the Iranians, Venezuela, Libya, and other countries that hate us, than buy a car that can help keep the money out of those countries.

    The fire was also a joke. It started 3 weeks (3 weeks!) after the intentional crash – a crash that was very unlikely to occur. And it was nothing like a typical gas fire in terms of intensity.

    I have always gotten mad at politicians that won’t do the right thing if it means the other side might get a little credit.

  • chiludo67

    Conservatives…….CONSERVE idiots!! That includes gasoline.

    Just because you drive a hybrid or plugin doesn’t mean you’re a socialist democRAT.

    When you get a 5 billion dollar bailout from Obama you’d better bash republicans soon and very often.

  • ACAgal

    The Pinto, under Lee Iacocca, produced many fires and deaths. It would have required only an $11 fix (which wasn’t done). So far the Volt fires have happened only after crashes. No one was injured in these events.

    The talking heads don’t know history!

  • Jim Jones

    Another reason why the Republicants are NOT the party of the people but off the rich !

  • erewhon

    ACAgal said:

    “So far the Volt fires have happened only after crashes. No one was injured in these events.”

    There have been NO Volt fires after crashes of customer-owned Volts.

    There was one fire in a Volt crash test, and one fire in a test of just the battery pack by itself. The battery had the cr*p beat out of it, followed by getting dunked in coolant. It took a week for the fire to start. Another battery test resulted in sparks, but no fire, after several hours.

    Just wanted to clarify things!

  • Meeker

    I will never understand why some people keep defending oil so much (outside of those who are heavily invested in it). It is such an outdated form of energy. It baffles me that people are so concerned on drilling and fighting for something that is just dirty and will not help us in the future. I cannot wait until I no longer have to get oil changes and smog checks for my car. And that time is getting closer.

  • AP

    Meeker, the reason so many defend petroleum is that it stores so much energy in a small and light package. One pound of gasoline will propel a car about 40 times as far as one pound of batteries. it’s difficult to find a more convenient alternative. It allows a car to be compact and light.

    As for this article, Lutz has been criticizing the wrong-headed statements by the right for a couple of weeks. Contrary to their claims, Lutz began the Volt project 2 years before Obama took office, and Bush began the efforts to save the auto companies (not Obama).

    The unfortunate thing is that, for the most part, I believe the right is correct on what needs to be done in this country; but what they are doing here undermines their credibility. They shouldn’t stoop to such tactics.

    If they want to criticize the Volt over cost, or question whether it really saves energy or reduces pollution, fine. But making up stories, like “exploding Volts” is just plain irresponsible politicizing.

    Full disclosure: I am a long-time GM employee. Not that it would change my opinion if I weren’t.

  • Meeker

    The problem is … if we concentrated half the amount of money and energy we use for drilling/fighting for new oil resources and put it toward new technology, we’d be a lot further along than we are right now. The reason oil is still cheaper is because the industry keeps fighting newer alternative technology. Non-renewable means charging more for it. Of course, we also now have to worry about the non-renewable precious metals being horded by China until we find a better alternative for battery storage, such as the (early-stage) potential of lignin from paper waste. If we keep having to rely on other countries for energy, we’re on a downward spiral.

  • Twila Davis

    As a democrat not a left winger I totally agree with you. It’s nice to know there are sensable republicans out there. Not only would it keep monies out of the middle east but in our pockets as well. I wished I could afford one. But I will find a way. This car gives me hope. The first time I saw one, was when a guy pulled up next to me and parked and it looked so sleek, two toned leather all that, I didn’t know it was a Volt til I asked him and he told me. I then asked him about mileage. The guy said: ” I haven’t been to a gas station in 3 weeks I was floored”

    The plus side is: It’s stylishly beautiful! like me.

    I’m so proud of Chevy for doing this…… There is hope.

  • Twila Davis

    I remember that. As a little girl.

  • Twila Davis

    Thanks for that clarification. Really appreciate it. If it took that long for a fire. Then surely a consumer wouldn’t be at risk, since most cars are put in the shop for repairs right after a fire.

  • Twila Davis

    I totally agree with you. Why the defense? When there is something better. I’m so ready for a change. This is ridiculous. For 12 years we should have been getting ourselves together. The american people need to wake up and smell the Electricity. lol. Gas stations are huge explosions waiting to happen anyways.

  • Twila Davis

    Wow, so Bush started to save the auto industry. President Obama saved it. Yet you give him no credit for saving your good Job. That’s so sad to me. So sad. You’re still a republican, even though they wanted to kill your job… Amazing!!!!

  • Twila Davis

    Your’e so right. Just the clean air alone will help against sickness and disease and so many other important issues.

  • Kurtis Fechtmeyer

    I just bought a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. I do not listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc., however, I did not even look at the Volt because: (a) GM was stupid enough to let a politician I distrust to tout its wares, (b) GM has done nothing to distance itself from the corruption surrounding the misuse of TARP money and handing over the company to a corrupt union that funnels money to corrupt politicians, (c) Obama has loaded the car up with subsidies and fleet purchases to puff up the sales numbers so he can tout it as a great “green” success, (d) I don’t trust the combination of lithium ion batteries and gasoline, so I’m waiting until I can get my hands on an all-electric Tesla.

    Lutz is barking up the wrong tree. There are more than enough liberal Prius buyers that he should be able to convert to Volt owners if the car didn’t look like a Malibu and cost like a Cadillac.

  • Casey Anderson

    Geez, try to blame talk show hosts for the fact that no one wants one of these toy cars?

    Here’s a hint: make a car with the same range as gas-powered cars, carrying the same cargo, using the same accoutrements (see AC), that costs the same to purchase and operate, and doesn’t require one to live within walking distance to work and shopping since the car’s range isn’t reliable, and PERHAPS Jane Q Public will be interested in your cars.

    Until then stop complaining that people aren’t interested in your toy cars. People are smart enough to know what is a good buy and what is a sucker’s bet and most people have decided that the electric and hybrids are sucker bets. Don’t blame us (or talk show hosts.) Blame yourself and your poor engineering.

    Geez, you can’t even get people to buy it with a bribe using taxpayer dollars. Shouldn’t that tell you something?

  • Casey Anderson

    Geez, try to blame talk show hosts for the fact that no one wants one of these toy cars?

    Here’s a hint: make a car with the same range as gas-powered cars, carrying the same cargo, using the same accoutrements (see AC), that costs the same to purchase and operate, and doesn’t require one to live within walking distance to work and shopping since the car’s range isn’t reliable, and PERHAPS Jane Q Public will be interested in your cars.

    Until then stop complaining that people aren’t interested in your toy cars. People are smart enough to know what is a good buy and what is a sucker’s bet and most people have decided that the electric and hybrids are sucker bets. Don’t blame us (or talk show hosts.) Blame yourself and your poor engineering.

    Geez, you can’t even get people to buy it with a bribe using taxpayer dollars. Shouldn’t that tell you something?