A jet flight with GM's ex-chief, Bob Lutz
Top Gear's mag boss is taken for a spin by a true captain of the industry...
Posted: 19 Dec 2011
Directly in front of us is the heartland of the US car industry, laid out like some giant game of Monopoly. In the distance is the original Motor City, Detroit. To our right is the Chrysler proving ground, and on our left and away a bit is the GM test centre.
As we look out across the centre of US car culture, where does Lutz see the industry of which he's been such a fundamental part heading in the future? "The cleansing effect of Chapter 11 [basically, the part of the US bankruptcy code that allows a company to restructure debt without getting sued, with the eventual result that the company involved can continue to trade] for two out of the three companies [GM and Chrysler - Ford didn't take Chapter 11] has left us dead and reborn but in much healthier shape, with very little debt on the balance sheet and a new United Auto Workers contract.