Bob Lutz Believes Tesla CEO Elon Musk Should Step Down


We can’t say we’re surprised about this former GM exec’s stance, but it’s not as bad as it may seem.

Bob Lutz hasn’t had anything very nice to say about Tesla for some time. Those who scrutinize everything the Silicon Valley electric automaker does likely agree with some (if not most) of his points, while Tesla fans would argue that Bob takes it to an extreme. Amidst all the recent news surrounding Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Lutz made an interview appearance on CNBC.

Media coverage has ramped up significantly ever since Musk tweeted that he’s considering taking Tesla private. Following that tweet, there has been talk of SEC questioning and potential investigations, a new alleged whistleblower story, and a New York Times interview with Musk himself. Not to mention a plethora of related stories.

In Musk’s NYT interview, he shared the difficulties he’s endured, both personally and professionally, especially throughout this past year. Most of the issues seem to have been accelerated due to Model 3 production.

Still, Musk made it clear that he has no plans to step down as CEO. However, he did say:

If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know. They can have the job. Is there someone who can do the job better? They can have the reins right now.

In the recent CNBC interview, Lutz asserts (as transcribed by GM Authority):

I can’t imagine any sound investor who has money in the company or any independent board member would want him to remain as CEO in light of recent performance.

He’s obviously got some emotional problems. He’s self-medicating. He has shown some disturbing signs of being somewhat volatile and unstable.

Interestingly, Lutz thinks that Musk should still be a part of the equation. He also says that the CEO should continue to keep his title. Lutz believes that Musk deserves credit and respect for what he’s created. With the being said, he also insists that it’s time for Tesla to slot someone else into the management role.

Source: GM Authority

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70 Comments on "Bob Lutz Believes Tesla CEO Elon Musk Should Step Down"

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Good to see Mr. Lutz is up to his usual insight.

Now, What about Bob?

Might he know of a certain individual, whom may be ready and able, to come to the Tesla BOD Table?

Gunna take me some Bill Murray “baby steps” Away from “Bob”.

Lutz Slanders with No Proof. SHOCK.

Maybe Bob Lutz should step down from whatever this is.

Yes, where are those Plugin Hybrid Pickup Trucks Lutz was working on? Still NOWHERE.

I’ve actually seen a couple around here. And some of the hotels are running via motors vans around here too.

If Bob Lutz wants to beat Musk, he should go ahead and have his VIA Motors company ramp up their plug-in vehicle production to 5K/week. Get to work Bob!

They’re not even at 5K per YEAR.

I think it is interesting how you attack Lutz rather then digest what he said. Sounds very familiar to how you approach my messages.

Lutz looks too tired to make a judgement.
Maybe he’d better see a doctor.
I hope it’s not drugs.

I agree, it is time for Lutz to be out to pasture, but his knowledge of the industry, and management in general has value. I certainly would not hire him to replace Musk, but there are lots of good CEO/Coo guys out there, just like when Ford hired Mulally from Boeing. Many folks questioned that hire, but Mulally did well for Ford.

Mulally were told by Bill Ford to get into EV’s and he did not.
He failed.

Ummm, Ford avoided BK… Mulally succeeded…

American CEOs know how to bullshit, cook books, give grand talks, that’s it! Why in the hell a CEO from different industry hired to fill the position handling industry he has no experience or clues about? Germans or Japanese don’t do that. They promote from within and that’s why they are successful!

Mulally brought a charisma and new energy to Fords executive offices, he also tested every product they built, and asked lots of tough questions to the long time management staff. He also ate lunch in the non executive staff lunchroom so he could understand what is going on below… He was a revolutionary executive for Detroit which before him had mostly old stuffy execs. Mary Barra might be the next generation of this style, certainly the best CEO GM has had in quite some time….

You do know that Bub Lutz is actually Swiss right? He is also 86 years old. I’m pretty sure he has zero interest in running anything right now.

How about those German CEO’s like Martin Winterkorn no BS there!

Your comments are crap, and you’re surprised people don’t pat you on the head for them??

I didn’t attack him, I challenged him to step up his own game. Do you have a problem with 5K PHEV work trucks being brought to the market and sold every week?

His company was not being discussed in this story, the story was about Musk being unfit to stay and the reigns of Tesla. I think Lutz nailed it… Not firing Musk, but give him a vacation to straighten his head out…

Bob Lutz, I figured somebody would get him to comment soon… Actually he is right this time, Elon needs a long vacation, and then reevaluate his position, he may not want to come back.

As much as Lutz has done, I think we also need someone else to take over his position as “former” something… So, it is time for someone to step in and replace Lutz as automotive commentator..

Recent performance has been stellar and only getting better. The glasses of lutz are too tainted with a 20th centrury perspective for him to see the revolution in vehicle tech that Elon n Tesla are doing right in front of his eyes.

Poor Bob looks like his soul is almost completely gone. Where did it go Bob?

Give him a break. He’s 86 years old. That’s 10 years more than the average life expectancy for men in the US.

Bob needs to retire already.

Exactly… and still flies his fighter jet, and helicopter… Pretty amazing old fart if you ask me…

Is it really that low??

I’ll give him a break when he stops BSing the auto community.

That’s what I’ve been saying for forever now. Musk cedes day to day responsibilities of the company to someone with a better clue about how to run an automotive company properly, while Elon remains on as “Chairman” or whatever title he sees fit and continues the cheerleading activities and remains the face of the company. Dude can’t keep going the way he’s going and expect to last much longer.

Just think, with a more appropriate CEO Tesla could be selling 1,200 a month like the Bolt instead of the 14,000 a month they are currently!

You win the internet today.

You are exactly right, Musk should stay on as the non executive chairman, but first take a 6-8 week vacation away from all of his businesses, and then come back… the problem is not too many active executives are going to want to come to work for Musk… Gerber is calling for Tim Cook, which is a pipe dream.. Tim Cook and Apple want nothing to do with the train wreck that is Tesla. Apple is not a manufacturer…

I have long wondered about Elon. He seems like the man in the poem who “Got on his horse and galloped off madly in all directions”. Just to grow Tesla into a full fledged auto maker would be a super human challenge let alone Space-X and the Boring Company. Talented visionary that he is perhaps his past successes blinded him to his limitations.

As for Bob Lutz it cannot be denied that he has had a successful past in the auto industry but today he might be more at place managing a used car dealership in Jurassic Park.

Lutz was responsible for the Chevy Volt, he’s not a dinosaur. His points are valid, Musk is spread way to thin and it’s killing him. Steve Jobs had Tim Cook. Jobs had the ideas and Jobs made the headlines but Cook made sure that the things got built and that they made a profit. Musk needs a Tim Cook at Tesla. He has one at Space X, Musk doesn’t manage Space X, Gwynne Shotwell does, Musk has the title of CEO but Shotwell actually runs the place. Tesla desperately needs someone who can both run the place and let Musk concentrate on coming up with the ideas.

Exactly… Lutz is over the hill, and a has been, but his knowledge of the industry, and management is still valid….

@David Green said: “….his [Bob Lutz] knowledge of the industry, and management is still valid….”


2015 Bob Lutz said:

“If I were sitting in Musk’s seat… I would seriously consider an entry-level model with a cheaper, range-extended hybrid driveline. Something with a much smaller battery that also looks great…” source:

I wonder how that nugget of Bob Lutz’s industry knowledge if Tesla had taken his advise back in 2015 would have contributed towards Tesla today selling more EVs in North America and Western Europe than any other car maker?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

lol, he took a Karma ripped out the EV parts and put a V8 in there.

Lutz has only gotten the Volt to market.
Musk has got the Model S, X, 3, Roadster to market.
Now with the Y, Semi and new Roadster coming.

There’s no way in Heck I want Lutz’s S-L-O-W leadership, or his opinion.
He has a mediocre track record.

Musk has a STELLAR track record.
You don’t ask a LOSER how to innovate.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

LOL @ Slob Klutz……..

At the end of 2019, after Tesla has built over 500k bevs for the year and about to launch production of the fastest production vehicle in history, roadster 2, and the best transportation vehicle in history, semi, lutz and other old school, pessimistic fools will still speak primarily of the faults of Tesla rather than its resounding, amazing successes.

He could deliver 5k electric cars per week to show Musk that he is boss.

5000 VIAs?

Even if it was 5000 Bolts per week it would be already awesome.

Bob who?

Since Bob also believes Tesla sells all vehicles at a loss and will go down soon, what does he care who the CEO is? Why throw another Captain at a sinking ship /S

“I can’t imagine any sound investor who has money in the company or any independent board member would want him to remain as CEO “. Then he should check the results where overwhelming number of investors choose to keep him as chairman and CEO

Aaaaaannnnddd… there’s Bob, right on cue! What?! He’s lost faith in Musk(for the fifteenth time)? Get that stock price DOWN baby. CNBC needs some new plays, or I should say, it plays if you pay.

The real problem is CNBC gives him a platform.

Guys like Bob should ALWAYS bea asked how successful they are in what they are currently doing.

How is the VLF Destino doing? Is Bob Lutz doing an excellent job as CEO there? Maybe Bob Lutz doesn’t really know what the fu ck he is talking about.

When he resigned from GM, they went bankrupt six months later. Hmmmm……

Lutz’s lifetime “achievements” can’t even compare with what Musk had done the last 5 years. Maybe Bob Lutz should find a corner at his retirement home and reflect upon himself instead of sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Or maybe someone should remind him that he’s no longer a car guy.

Nothing new here…

Bob Lutz for a long while has criticized Tesla and Elon Musk and talked about how he would better lead Tesla.

Here is a Road & Track Article written by Lutz back in 2015:

“… Tesla’s showing all the signs of a company in trouble: bleeding cash, securitized assets, and mounting inventory. It’s the trifecta of doom for any automaker, and anyone paying attention probably saw this coming a mile away…

“If I were sitting in Musk’s seat, I would…

“And then there’s the distribution problem. Nobody has ever been successful with company stores…

“I would seriously consider an entry-level model with a cheaper, range-extended hybrid driveline. Something with a much smaller battery that also looks great…”

Good old Lutz…

In the meantime…. without the help of Bob Lutz… Tesla is selling more EVs in North America and Western Europe than any other car maker by a wide margin.

This 2015 “Lutz knows what’s best for Tesla” article remains relevant today:

“…Seems Lutz is campaigning for FUDmeister General. Why…? ”

Ding ding ding! Bob Lutz should become the new Tesla CEO!

We got a perfect match!

You have found your replacement Elon!


Elon, please look NO Further!i

Bob is the New Tesla “Captain Obvious” CEO!

Bob will clean house in Freemont, and put the permanent fix on GF # 1 in “SPARKS”!

Lutz working for Tesla, will be like the “bags around Bob’s/(Tesla’s) neck”!


So it’s obvious: Tesla should immediately discontinue all their car production, buy a production license for several billion dollars for the Destino, fire and sue Musk and send Lutz a huge consulting fee. Everyone agree?

Wow. I hope CNBC didn’t pay Lutz for that interview.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

Elon Musk’s strength is his vision and engineering creative skills; he is trying to run the whole show by micromanaging the company. That a bad management style and sets you up for failure and/or a short life. Nobody can do that successfully over the long term…it’s just too damn stressful. Musk should hire competent managers, offload the day-to-day work and concentrate on managing his managers. His job is then to set their goals, give them the power to do the work and hold their feet to the fire to meet their goals. He needs a competent COO. to assist him.

Who is this “Noob Putz” anyways??/s

Bob Lutzs’ knowledge is in all things ICE that are sold through a dealership. He dosent know much about running a company like Tesla since there is no company much like Tesla. Maybe thats why we don see any VIAs on the road?

Lutz has to ease up on the embalming fluid. It’s accelerating his dementia.

Not surprised.
Ppl like him and Chanos would LOVE to see Musk leave. He keeps costing them a lot of money.

Sad thing is, that I have a lot of respect for these 2.
Perhaps the right word is had.

Anything connected with GM should be the last place Tesla should take any advise, remember they went bankrupt.

Why you Brock GM and got a golden parachute.

I think he Mr.Lutz should resign as probably only he will miss himself, whereas if Musk retires, then the whole world will miss him.
People can only point fingers at other people who actually work

Bob Lutz is a corrupt moron. Lutz is a Klutz he’s a true and true ICE Internal combustion man. Lutz only wants that so someone incompetent can destroy Tesla and all that Tesla has accomplished. Notice I said Tesla not Elon Musk. Elon Musk was NOT THE FOUNDER OF TESLA. Marc Tarpenning, Tesla Martin Eberhard, are the founders of Tesla

This is some of the most BS i heard in a long time, somebody is obviously speculating in giving Tesla share getting a rollercoaster ride, maybe for Tesla trying to get out of the game.
Tesla more than reached the target for there first vision, and the model 3 production is running on the target number 5000/week, with these high priced model 3 selling they will gain profitability in 4 quarter as promised, maybe almost break even in third quarter. they still have cash in the bank.
And for Elon, somebody is trying to frame him, maybe he should hire somebody to go thought his tweet before sending them, but that is it, I don’t remember anybody explaining and executing there vision so clear as him.
I will still continue to buy Tesla products and so will a lot of others, because they make sence.

News Flash: This is not news.

Jealous much?

I believe Bob said about the same thing when Renault basically took over Nissan. His comment was something like” They would have done better to dump the money in the ocean.” This guy is just one more Detroit car guy that doesn’t get it. How much market share did Chrysler and GM gain when big Bob was there? But pardon me, that was different. It was the Japanese acquiring market share not another USA competitor such as Tesla. Didn’t GM go bankrupt? Didn’t the Italians acquire Chrysler at a fire sale? Tesla is on it’s way and there is nothing else made in the USA that is going to compete for years. I doubt Bob has ever even driven a Tesla. It shuts down his Dodge Vipers.