Bob Lutz joins electric-vehicle startup VIA

Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman of General Motors who recently rejoined the Detroit automaker as an advisor, doesn’t seem to know how to rest during his retirement. Lutz has now taken a position with electric-vehicle maker VIA Motors.

Lutz will become a member of VIA’s board of directors and will help the privately held startup raise money and create partnerships with automakers. His role at VIA does not conflict with his new role at GM, a GM spokesman said.

VIA and GM have an existing agreement, where VIA outfits full-sized pickups with an extended-range electric powertrain that it developed, said David West, VIA chief marketing officer. This fall, it plans to test about 35 of the vehicles with fleet customers.

“In my long career working with GM, Ford, Chrysler and BMW, I considered the Chevy Volt the most important car we had yet made,” Lutz said in a statement released by VIA today. “I am now pleased to join VIA Motors to expand the vision of extended range electric vehicles and help build the next generation of electrified trucks, vans and SUVs.”

Lutz, 79, will also continue being an advisor to British sports car maker Lotus.

VIA fits Volt-like plug-in hybrid systems in minivans and pickups. The company plans to start fleet sales this year, with retail sales planned for 2013.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News