Auto industry veteran Bob Lutz, 85, is recommending the Tesla Model S to collectors of rare automobiles.
Lutz, high on the Model S but down on Tesla as a company, told an audience of vintage-car collectors in Scottsdale, Ariz., Thursday that they should consider buying a Model S "while they're still available."
With a storied career that spanned BMW, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, Lutz has always been blunt and outspoken, separating himself from the marketing-speak that pervades the auto industry.
Known in the industry as a "car guy," he's a lover of the Model S luxury electric sedan.
"A Model S, especially with the performance upgrades, is one of the fastest, best handling, best braking sedans that you could buy in the world today," he said at a forum sponsored by collector-car insurance company Hagerty. "The acceleration times will beat any $350,000 European exotic."
But, he said, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk "hasn't figured out the revenues have to be greater than costs … when you are perennially running out of cash you are just not running a good automobile company."
"I don't see anything on the horizon that's going to fix that, so those of you who are interested in collector cars may I suggest buying a Tesla Model S while they're still available."
Afterward, he told The Times that he is "semi-serious" about his suggestion. "Twenty-five years from now, [the Model S] will be remembered as the first really good-looking, fast electric car. People will say 'Too bad they went broke.'"
Plenty of Tesla stock investors differ. Tesla stock closed Friday up 1.58% to $350.02, with a market value of $58.7 billion.