Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GM the ex Lotus owners retain their European asset. Chrysler dump 'Lotus' Electric car

I noticed today that GM have appointed a new top guy for OPEL... Nick Reilly, with another GM executive Bob Lutz also involved.
The Opel/Vauxhall support will come from Hans Demant.
I wish them all the best.
I enjoyed my time working for GM Europe. Hans Demant was head of Body Engineering at that time. I liased with Dieter Bratke (GM Opel) during this period. He was very knowledgeable, and in my case very helpful. In fact I found most of the people in the Opel tech centre went out of their way to move forward with our project (I was part of the 'American' contingent).
The project was a joint GM America/Europe effort to produce a car for the Saturn division.
Part of my job was to keep data flowing between the two entities,and ensure lines of communication remained open between the two sets of engineers.
I'm sure the new management team will have to ensure that both sides of the Atlantic remain on speaking terms...
Good Luck to them!
I have embedded a video of Hans Demant talking at the 2008 Geneva show.He is talking about powertrain developments. Rita Forst was in charge of Powertrain when I was there.
During this period Lotus still had a desk in the Opel Powertrain department. Obviously they had done a lot of work for GM when under it's ownership, and was still involved in constant improvement tasks.

Also today, the Detroit NEWS has an article on Chryslers (FIAT) new electric vehicle line up.The Lotus bodied Dodge circuit car appears to have been dumped... at least in the near future.
Here is a short quote:
But the first pure electric vehicle will not be the Dodge Circuit sports car. Rather it will be a commercial van from Fiat, due in late 2011 or 2012, according to a presentation by powertrain chief Paolo Ferrero last week as part of Chrysler's five-year business and product plan.

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