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Lutz In It for Long Haul

Should he decide to call it quits at General Motors, "I would give six months' notice," Bob Lutz says.

PARIS – Don’t expect 74-year-old Bob Lutz to retire any time soon.

The vice chairman-global product development no longer has a contract with General Motors Corp., the auto maker he re-joined in 2001.

His original 3-year contract was extended by one year in December 2002.

And in August he achieved the five years’ service required to qualify for the auto maker’s Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan.

But when his formal contract expired in December, Lutz and GM Chairman Rick Wagoner decided to make the colorful product chief’s term of employment “indefinite,” with no contract reining him in.

Should he decide to call it quits, “I would give six months’ notice,” Lutz tells Ward’s on the sidelines of the auto show here.

Conversely, “they could tap me on the shoulder,” he says, presumably with a similar amount of lead time.

But he says he does not see either scenario as imminent.

“I enjoy working way more than I would enjoy being retired,” Lutz says with a wide smile.

Additionally, at an age long past the point at which most people retire, “I have no further career ambitions,” says the man whose resume includes stints at Adam Opel GmbH in Germany, BMW AG, the former Chrysler Corp., and supplier Exide Technologies Inc.

“I can speak my piece. I’m bulletproof,” Lutz says.

GM’s policy of mandatory retirement at 65 does not apply to new hires, Wagoner noted at the August 2001 press conference to announce the hiring of then-69-year-old Lutz.

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TAGS: Auto Shows
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