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GM lets Lynn Myers slip way, one of its real 'car guys'
By Paul Lienert / Autos Insider

I've known Lynn Myers for close to 20 years, first as director of planning at Oldsmobile, then as a corporate planner, later as a marketing manager and ultimately as the boss of General Motors Corp.'s Pontiac-GMC division.

Over the years, Lynn and I have spent hours together on the road, mostly driving Pontiacs -- everything from Firebirds to Vibes. Most recently, we spent some seat time together in a new Pontiac GTO on the twisty roads of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in southern California.

We had plenty of time to chat -- about the GTO, about other Pontiac and GMC products, about where those two brands are going and finally about the future of GM.

When I heard last week that Lynn is leaving the company, I felt sad for her and even worse for GM. I think they're losing one of their real "car guys," and that will be a blow to Pontiac and its corporate parent at a critical time for both.

In Myers' departure, I see two disturbing patterns at GM -- but more on that in a minute.

Unlike a lot of executives who run car divisions, I've always found Lynn to be pretty down to earth and, at least when she's away from the crowd, surprisingly forthright in her views on what's best for Pontiac, GMC and General Motors.

She has always struck me, too, as a savvy pro in the arcane world of automotive marketing, and that's a trait that isn't necessarily shared by some of her cohorts in Detroit.

Yes, she has the credentials -- an MBA in marketing from Michigan State University and the Tuck Management Program at Dartmouth. But she also happens to be the real deal when it comes to a broad knowledge of the car biz.

I still have my doubts about the GTO, and I've expressed concerns about the lousy interior in the Grand Prix. But I told Lynn in December that I was encouraged by the initial success of the Vibe and excited about the prospects for the Solstice, which may be the coolest thing to hit GM and Pontiac in years.

I even like the new G6, at least on the outside, and am eager to see if it feels as sturdy and fun on the road as its Opel counterparts.

How much credit does Lynn Myers get for pushing these products at Pontiac? Probably not enough would be my guess.

If the Solstice proves to be the runaway hit that I think it will be, Bob Lutz will get -- and certainly deserves -- a huge nod.

So does the designer, Franz Von Holzhausen, and Lori Queen's Kappa engineering team.

But Lynn was a Solstice booster from day one, and undoubtedly did as much as any executive inside GM to boost its chances of making the cut into production.

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