Tesla "Is Going Out of Business" According to Ex-GM Exec Bob Lutz

Bob Lutz on CNBC about Tesla 1 photo
Photo: CNBC screenshot
Whenever Bob Lutz, ex-General Motors boss and one of the oldest figures in the industry, makes an appearance these days, you can almost bet it's to bash Tesla one way or another.
For somebody who has helped develop the Chevrolet Volt - and even got nicknamed "the father of the Chevy Volt" - it might seem weird that he clearly has some bad blood with a company that's been exclusively building electric cars and has convinced the rest of the manufacturers to do the same.

Lutz has always been a controversial figure and, at times, it almost looks as though he was the person chosen to say the things the traditional carmakers were afraid to because they knew it would make them look like fools. Or at least sore losers.

This Friday, just one day after the Tesla Semi and Roadster II event, Bob Lutz came on CNBC and proceeded to trash Elon Musk's company. "There is no secret sauce in Tesla," he opened his speech, saying Tesla's batteries are just like anyone else's (he even said GM's are better and less expensive, which is laughable) suggesting the company would immediately lose its privileged market position once other brands started taking EVs seriously.

Lutz says that nothing Tesla does couldn't be replicated by other companies, and highlights the fact he's been saying this for three years, which is odd because he's basically undermining his own argument. If you've been saying it for a long time, then why have other companies failed to deliver competitive model so far? And even those that are now in the making don't offer equal specs, not to mention better.

After the anchor talks about design, Bob Lutz just start rambling one inexact fact after another. He says Model X sales are bad (they've been on the rise constantly), and he says "he" - making the discussion personal all of a sudden and referring directly to Elon Musk - hasn't sold any Model 3 despite the sedan "being supposed to be on the market a long time ago." Well, for all the issues the Model 3 production has been plagued with, the EV is actually still ahead of schedule, so that's pure misinformation.

He is right about Musk trying to deflect attention from other problems by unveiling new products, but what's wrong with that? As long as they are good products and Tesla eventually builds them, isn't that a legit business model? Sure, we all would like a bit more consistency, but that's the price you have to pay when you're pushing the envelope.

The thing with Bob Lutz's predictions is that they are just as unreliable as Tesla's deadlines. He's been saying Tesla is doomed for as far as we can remember, and yet the company is still very much alive. Yes, it's burning cash like crazy, but it's not the only successful multi-billion company that does it. How long can it keep this up? Not Bob Lutz or anybody else knows, so let's just wait and see and hope GM and the rest of the bunch can deliver those competitive EVs they keep talking about.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories