What Bob Lutz REALLY Wants To Tell David Letterman


GM (GM) Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the leading evangelist for the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, took to the company’s blog to rip David Letterman for insulting the car on his show last Wednesday (see here).

The post is a pretty wishy-washy rebuke of Letterman, because it’s the company’s official blog. Corporate censors probably held it back.

Because it was such a weak rebuke, we’ve done Lutz the favour (free of charge) of adding in all the language we think he would have preferred get posted. Our stuff is in blue, his is in black:

Fast Lane Blog: I don’t know if you happened to catch David Letterman Wednesday night. Frankly, I didn’t, nor did many of my colleagues at GM. Honestly, we didn’t know he was still on the air. He stopped being funny in 1987, so what’s the point?

But you can bet the clip of Dave interviewing Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has certainly made the rounds here, and has people up in arms, particularly the Chevrolet Volt team. The phrase “gap toothed jackass” was tossed around pretty liberally.

Mr. Letterman crapped on our electric car, made some gratuitously derogatory remarks about the Volt’s range, calling it “insane” and “ridiculous,” and in general appeared woefully uninformed about the Volt. For one thing, he said its 40-mile range wouldn’t get him down the driveway to pick up the newspaper. 

Now, if he is that uninformed, I must point out that it’s not his fault, it’s ours. We’re currently getting jerked around by the government, so we don’t have time to publicize a vehicle two years away from deployment–SORRY DAVE!!!! We should do a better job of making sure that Dave and everyone else who is in position to comment on national TV about our products has the right information, whether they use that information or not.

Perhaps if we’d hired Drew Barrymore to be the spokesperson for the vehicle we’d have commanded more of his attention. (Dummies who don’t remember–she flashed him years ago. Back when he was slightly relevant.) Regardless, we’d like to rectify the situation.

I would like to personally invite Dave to come learn more about the Volt, including the hugely important but unmentioned-by-him fact that its range is 40 purely electric miles plus several hundred more miles thanks to its range-extender. Dave may drive more than 40 miles a day on his commute from the palatial Connecticut estate, but about 80 per cent of Americans don’t.  And those people could conceivably drive the Volt every day and never use a drop of gasoline.

I’d like Dave to drive a Volt test mule and see for himself. And I’d be happy to appear on his show, like Mr. Musk had the opportunity to do, and set the record straight on the Volt and its promise. If it happens to be Stupid Pet Tricks night, I have a swan that would be a hit! If you think that snooze Elon Musk was a worth having on your show, then I definitely deserve a chance–Did you see me on Colbert!?–It was awesome. I denied the CO2 theory of global warming! I said the Volt would get you ladies with hair on their legs that don’t wear make-up! I am crazy. Please, please, please, let me on your show.

Let me say one more thing: If I were to compile a Top 10 List of things General Motors needs to worry about at this moment in time, rebuking comments by David Letterman would not be among them, as you might guess. He is a gap-toothed jackass, after all, and our company is going down in flames. But that doesn’t mean we can sit idly by while misinformation spreads, especially when it’s disseminated by a respected “car guy,” and by “car guy” I mean a rich dude that owns a bunch of fancy cars. That really got us, if you will, charged up. It also led to me punching a hole in my office wall. You wouldn’t like me when I’m mad, Letterman.

So that’s why we’re taking a moment on a Friday to let you know we heard what was said, we don’t agree with it, and we’d like the opportunity to put things right. Simple as that.

Image: Flickr/Pontiacunderground

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