Katzkin, the global leader in vehicle interior transformation, announced today that global automotive industry leader Bob Lutz will serve as Senior Advisor to the organization. Lutz has held senior leadership positions at four of the world’s top automakers, including General Motors Corp., where until 2010 he served as vice chairman.
“Katzkin is on the forefront of revolutionizing vehicle interior customization,” said Lutz. “I am looking forward to working with Katzkin’s executive team to help them further push the boundaries of this emerging category.”
According to Brooks Mayberry, Chief Executive Officer for Katzkin, the addition of Lutz’s insight and expertise comes during a growth cycle for the brand. “As we move forward, it is a huge benefit to be able to get advice from Bob, one of the industry’s most influential and visionary leaders,” commented Mayberry. “Bob joins our organization at the right time, as we continue to expand production capacity with a new plant opening in Mexico to extend our U.S. just-in-time manufacturing and Asian manufacturing. Bob’s commitment to the company is testament to our expanding market position.”
Mayberry also noted that the company’s industry leadership has further grown through its customization expertise – which has become a key consumer expectation. Automotive manufacturers are keenly aware of this trend with consumers spending more than $30 billion annually in specialty automotive products.
“The lines between custom vehicles from the factory and the aftermarket are blurring as consumers demand more choice,” said Mayberry. “Vehicle Interior Personalization allows the automotive manufacturer to respond to consumer wants and needs with vehicle interiors that are tailored to individual tastes and lifestyles — giving customers more choices and automotive brands greater identity.” Mayberry believes that Lutz’s strong design acumen will be another bonus for the brand.
Lutz served as vice chairman of General Motors Corp. from 2001 to 2010, where he revolutionized the company’s product development efforts. Additionally, he was CEO of Exide Corp. from 1998 to 2001 and previously also served for 12 years with Chrysler Corp. as vice chairman, president, chief operation officer and executive vice president. He served for 12 years with Ford Motor Co., three years with BMW and eight years with GM. Lutz is a contributor to CNBC, Forbes and Road & Track. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Via Motors, EnerG2, Transonic Combustion and NanoSteel; and is a partner in VL Productions, LLC with Gilbert Villarreal.
Currently Mr. Lutzserves as chairman of The New Common School Foundation, is a member of the board of trustees for the U.S. Marine Corps University Foundation and vice chairman of the board of trustees for the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California-Berkeley, an honorary doctorate of management degree from Kettering University and an honorary doctorate of law degree from Boston University. Lutz is the author of three bestselling books, Icons and Idiots (2013), Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business (2011) and Guts: 8 Laws of Business from One of the Most Innovative Business Leaders of Our Time (2003).
About Katzkin Leather, Inc.
Founded in 1983, Katzkin Leather, Inc., of Montebello, California is the leading manufacturer of custom leather interiors. With a nationwide installer base featuring over 2,500 restyling locations, Katzkin has created nearly two million exciting vehicle interiors in the past 30 years. Katzkin maintains more than 3,000 interior patterns, 135 colors and materials, and more custom options than any other interior manufacturer. For more information, visit Katzkin online at www.katzkin.com