Lutz: It’s better to have fewer brands and models and market the hell out of them

Outspoken General Motor’s executive Bob Lutz (who has been pretty quiet during the congressional hearings) has been pretty vocal about the company’s future as of lately. Lutz said that if GM wants survive its financial crisis, it will have to eliminate brands, reducing models and spend massively on marketing each vehicle.

“It’s really much better to have fewer brands, do it well and then market the hell out of them,” Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told Automotive News.

GM’s new restructuring plan puts Saab and Saturn under review and calls for reducing the number of nameplates from 48 to 40 and cutting a total of 1,750 dealers by 2012.

As far as Hummer goes, Lutz said that GM is looking to sell it as fast as possible. He declined to comment on what’s going on with Saturn and Saab but said that business is for the two brands is really bad. “They’re under strategic review,” he said. That’s the corporate code, Lutz said, for: “We realize they’re not working, and something needs to be done.”

Eliminating nameplates will allow GM to cut the cost of product development and marketing. Lutz said that GM spent about $500 million to develop the new Chevrolet Malibu and $200 to $300 million marketing.

Makes a lot of sense but we really have to say here: “Should’ve done that a long time ago General.”