Special Coverage

Greater L.A. Auto Show

LOS ANGELES – Asked about his interest in purchasing stock in his former company, the newly public General Motors Co., Bob Lutz tells Ward’s on the sidelines of the auto show here he will buy “everything I’m authorized to buy.”

That means 800 shares, based on the limits placed on former officers of the auto maker, Lutz says.

The 78-year-old executive retired earlier this year as GM vice chairman responsible for all creative elements of products and customer relationships.

He joined GM in 2001 near the end of a long automotive career and generally is credited with improving the performance and styling of several GM vehicles, as well as championing the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

After the initial public offering is concluded, Lutz says he will be able to purchase additional shares on the open market. A day before Thursday’s public offering, Lutz makes no prediction about how the stock will perform.

“You don’t buy it in the first week anyway,” he says. “You buy it – I buy it – because I think the fundamentals of the company are sounder than they’ve been in the last 40 years.”

Lutz also says he has not yet read the book “Overhaul” by Steven Rattner, the federally appointed “Car Czar” who orchestrated the 2009 quick-rinse bankruptcies for GM and Chrysler LLC. The book heaps criticism on GM management and says Lutz is overrated.

Lutz is writing his own book and says it will serve as a counter-point when it comes out next year. “It will be what actually happened, as opposed to fiction based on fact,” Lutz says.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com