Nothing but fond memories of GM’s Tony Posawatz
After 9/11 I knew I needed to make a change in my life. Eventually, that led to me becoming obsessed with US foreign oil dependence, especially US OPEC dependence. Inevitably, that made GM enemy #1. Whether it was Bob Lutz’s statements regarding the Prius, or GM’s decision to introduce its most gas-guzzling fleet of vehicles not long after 9/11, I couldn’t stand GM.
But then came the Chevy Volt. And Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz.
When GM invited me to the debut of the Chevy Volt I was a nobody — I’m still pretty much a nobody in the world of automotive journalists and, dare I say bloggers — but I did have some reach in the social media world at that time. And when it came to social media, GM was ahead of the game back in 2006 and 2007.
And so I was invited — at GM’s expense – to attend the debut of the Chevy Volt — thank you GM and thank you Gayle.
Suddenly I was attending press days at the Detroit Auto Show. I felt in over my head. Almost overnight I went from raging blogger to raging blogger interviewing guys like Bob Lutz, Jon Lauckner, and Tony Posawatz. I even had a few moments with Rick Wagoner on a couple of occasions.
For a nobody blogger, the experience was quite impressive. On top of that, GM was a class act. I wasn’t pressured to say anything, positive or negative. I was simply given access to GM execs and much more.
At the end of the day, it was my story to tell, at least for a while.
During those days, a regular figure was Tony Posawatz, Volt vehicle line director. Always a class act and a person I was able to interview numerous times. And no one ever made me feel more like an actual professional than Tony.
In fact, I remember being in Detroit, just before the official launch of the real world production version of the Volt and I ran into Tony. I asked him about the real world electric range of the Volt. Particularly, I asked him about recent reports — at that time – that claimed that Volt range could drop to as low as 20 miles in very hot or very cold conditions.
“Great question,” Tony replied.
He didn’t try to paint some perfect world scenario of the Volt. Tony, in my experiences, was always a straight shooter.
Moreover, I tried asking this question to several other key Volt figures, and was always blocked by layers of PR reps, particularly since I had begun to wear out my welcome at GM with my renewed and growing Volt and GM criticism.
But that didn’t matter with Tony (whom did get back to me regarding that question). Every time I saw Tony he acted genuinely happy to see me — even remembering my name — and was always ready to shoot the straight shyt.
Tony Posawatz. What a great guy. He’ll be missed. Hopefully our trails will meet again.