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Guts: The Seven Laws of Business That Made Chrysler the World's Hottest Car Company

LUTZ, Robert A.

ISBN 10: 0471295612 / ISBN 13: 9780471295617
Published by John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1998
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Small 4to. Red paper over boards with gilt spine lettering, pictorial dust jacket. xiv, 226pp. Illustrations, tables. Fine/near fine. Tight, handsome second printing -- boldly signed by Lutz in black fineline on the front flyleaf. Copies of this title signed by the legendary Swiss American auto executive (born 1932) are surprisingly scarce. Bookseller Inventory # 38137

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Guts: The Seven Laws of Business That Made ...

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


1. The Customer Is Not Always Right. 2. The Primary Purpose of Business Is Not "To Make Money". 3. When Everyone Else Is Doing It, DON'T!. 4. Too Much Quality Can Ruin You. 5. Financial Controls Are Bad 6. Disruptive People Are An Asset. 7. Teamwork Isn't Always Good.

"Bob Lutz is one of America's most imaginative and most insightful business leaders. He thinks way outside the box, and when he talks, everyone needs to listen."-Michael Hammer, Coauthor, Reengineering the Corporation.

"Lutz has made Chrysler into the feistiest, and most profitable, automaker on the planet."-Steve Miller, CEO, Waste Management Inc.

"Listening to Lutz is like hearing a Viper engine come to life. It's raw and pure. He loves speed, whether it's related to cars, fighter jets, or change in an organization."-Kent Kresa, Chief Executive Officer Northrop Grumman Corporation.

"Bob Lutz knows more about cars than anyone. And he knows more than anyone about fixing car companies . . . but what makes Bob unique is his extraordinary sense of self-confidence-call it guts-which has permitted him always to have fun doing the right thing. So, go get some Guts, and share the fun!"-James P. Womack, Author, The Machine That Changed the World, and President, Lean Enterprise Institute.

In May 7, 1998 Chrysler Corporation and Germany's Daimler-Benz (owner of Mercedes) shocked the business world by announcing their intention to merge. What led to this largest industrial merger of all time? How did Chrysler-which not too long ago needed government-backed loans in order to survive-transform itself into not just a partner coveted by Daimler (the gold standard of European car makers) but the most profitable car company in the world? And what does their mega-merger portend for consumers, governments, shareholders and workers around the world? In Guts, Robert A. Lutz, the product-development genius and iconoclastic leader behind Chrysler's second renaissance, answers these questions and many, many more.

With wit and a surprising frankness, Lutz tells how Chrysler in the early '90s recovered from a second near-death experience to go on and post record profits, emerging as Forbes magazine's "Company of the Year." He credits this remarkable turnaround to Chrysler's having embraced (at his urging) a deliberately "schizophrenic" corporate culture: tough, buttoned-down financial controls coupled with a rock-the-boat, provocative, highly creative product development process. The marriage of these two gave birth to a large family of hit products, starting with the radical, hugely popular Dodge Viper sports car, whose creation Lutz here describes. Along the way, he propounds what he humorously calls "Lutz's Immutable Laws of Business"-seven controversial maxims meant to stand conventional business wisdom on its ear. Guts explains how and why every organization must cultivate a "split personality" combining common sense with freewheeling creativity. It defines the leader's role in maintaining a healthy balance between the two. And it argues that a dynamic tension between them is the prime attribute that enables top-performing companies to introduce new products and achieve record profits. This embracing of opposites is, to say the least, unusual in the corporate world. For Lutz, however, it is business and life-as usual. What else would you expect from a vegetarian who loves a good cigar, a high-achiever who didn't graduate from high school until he was 22, a former Marine fighter pilot whose "Law of Life" is a line from a Rolling Stones song? Add to these paradoxes the fact that Lutz, unlike many of his peers, got into the automobile business because he actually likes cars, and he emerges as the quintessential maverick. Cinderella success story, unorthodox business primer, portrait of an iconoclastic icon, Guts is many books in one, each supplying its own brand of informative, amusing, and entertaining reading.


Robert A. Lutz, the hard-driving former Chrysler president, shares his best insights for business success in Guts. Lutz tells how he helped engineer a second comeback at Chrysler with "hard work, hard thinking and, yes, guts." When Lutz arrived at the auto maker in 1986, all of Chrysler's cars and trucks--except its minivans and Jeep vehicles--were outdated and boring. The company lagged so far behind the competition that it lost $800 million one year alone. Unlike 1979, when the auto maker first experienced near financial ruin, Lutz's first year would see no federal bailout. Lutz explains that he almost completely overhauled the company. He reorganized engineers into cross-functioning teams, promoted individual freedom and creativity, and attacked the bureaucracy. The results: a hot-selling Ram pickup truck with an innovative design that boosted interior space; the popular "LH" family sedan; the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which capitalized early on America's love of sport-utility vehicles; and the Viper, a six-speed, high-performance sports car that sells for half the price of its European competitors.

The son of a Swiss banker who shuttled between Wall Street and Zurich, Lutz showed little ambition as a teenager. He didn't graduate from high school until he was 22. It took a stint in the Marines and a hard push from his father to develop the discipline that led to a successful international career in the car industry. He was chair of Ford in Europe and a top official at General Motors and BMW before going to Chrysler. Lutz also knows disappointment: Bob Eaton--not Lutz--replaced Lee Iacocca as CEO of Chrysler in 1992. Yet, instead of pouting in defeat, Lutz stuck with the company. He retired earlier this year, proud of his role in Chrysler's merger with Germany's Daimler-Benz. Guts is a lively business-management book. It's the story of one man's passion for automobiles--and how he jump-started a giant company that makes them. --Dan Ring

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