Car Guys vs. Bean Counters

Car Guys vs. Bean Counters

The Battle for the Soul of American Business

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101516027
  • 272 Pages
  • Portfolio
  • Adult


A legend in the car industry reveals the philosophy that’s starting to turn General Motors around.

In 2001, General Motors hired Bob Lutz out of retirement with a mandate to save the company by making great cars again. He launched a war against penny pinching, office politics, turf wars, and risk avoidance. After declaring bankruptcy during the recession of 2008, GM is back on track thanks to its embrace of Lutz’s philosophy.

When Lutz got into the auto business in the early sixties, CEOs knew that if you captured the public’s imagination with great cars, the money would follow. The car guys held sway, and GM dominated with bold, creative leadership and iconic brands like Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC, and Chevrolet.

But then GM’s leadership began to put their faith in analysis, determined to eliminate the "waste" and "personality worship" of the bygone creative leaders. Management got too smart for its own good. With the bean counters firmly in charge, carmakers (and much of American industry) lost their single-minded focus on product excellence. Decline followed.

Lutz’s commonsense lessons (with a generous helping of fascinating anecdotes) will inspire readers at any company facing the bean counter analysis-paralysis menace.


“This book should be required reading for every young person who seeks a business degree. That applies equally to the current management of GM.”

—David E. Davis, Jr., former editor and publisher of Car and Driver

“This is exactly what you’d expect from Bob Lutz: no holds barred, no punches pulled, and no stone left unturned. It’s a true insider’s perspective and a great read.”

—Stephen J. Girsky, vice chairman of General Motors

Car Guys vs. Bean Counters is the best book written by an auto industry insider since Iacocca in 1984, and deserves to be shelved alongside Alfred P. Sloan’s management classic, My Years with General Motors.”


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