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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lutz to step down as vice chair of General Motors on May 1

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Bob Lutz

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DETROIT — General Motors announced yesterday that automotive icon Bob Lutz will retire from the automaker as vice chairman on May 1.

Lutz had planned to make the announcement today, but news of his departure spread from Geneva, where he was attending the auto show, to Detroit faster than any of the hot-rods he developed over his long career at GM, Chrysler and Ford.

"The influence Bob Lutz has had on GM's commitment to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles will last for years to come," GM CEO and Chairman Ed Whitacre said in a statement.

Roughly a year ago, Lutz, 78, announced plans to leave at the end of 2009. But those plans were shelved as GM emerged from bankruptcy in July and he was given a new assignment as vice chairman of marketing.

In December, Whitacre, having just assumed the role of CEO, announced that Lutz would be taking an adviser role to him.


At least 15 Toyota drivers have complained to U.S. safety officials that their cars sped up by themselves even after being fixed under recalls for sticky gas pedals or floor mat problems, according to an Associated Press analysis.

The development raises questions about whether Toyota's repairs will bring an end to the cases of wild, uncontrolled acceleration or if there may be electronic causes behind the complaints.

Although the allegations were unverified by the agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was contacting people who have complained about acceleration problems even after repairs were done under two large recalls. The agency wants to hear from others who have had similar troubles, it said.


Radisson hotels are getting a $1.5 billion luxury rebranding and facelift in the U.S., owner Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced yesterday, even as the industry struggles with crushing debt and plummeting revenue.

Radisson will be remade into a more stylish and contemporary brand, President and CEO Hubert Joly announced at a conference in Kissimmee, Fla.

—Advertiser News Services