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Bob Kruse, who formulated General Motors' long-term electric vehicle plans and whose team helped develop the Chevy Volt, has resigned, ending his 31-year career with the company. The 50-year-old Rochester Hills, Michigan, resident has served as GM's executive director of global vehicle engineering for hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries since 2008. His first days with the company were spent as a student co-op in the Buick division.
Kruse will now devote his efforts to E V Consulting LLC., a firm he founded on August 13th, one week after the Big Three were awarded $1.3 billion in federal grants. His new company will help clients qualify for the remaining $1.1 billion in grant money available for next generation battery and EV technology.
Although Kruse left on good terms, he says GM probably isn't happy about it. GM spokesperson, Rob Peterson, echoed the sentiment. "There's no good time to lose good people," said Peterson. "But that said, the Volt team goes way beyond one person."
Industry analysts say the move was predictable, considering the government's new rules for the company's executives. "You can't blame the guy," said Joe Phillippi of Auto Trends Consulting Inc.. "What is the prospect of ever making serious money...working for a ward of the government, where your pay is capped?"
Kevin Riddell of J.D. Power and Associates powertrain forecasting believes the impact to GM and the Volt program will be minimal. "I don't think it's really a factor. People come and go all the time," he said.
Kruse will be succeeded by Micky Bly, who has also contributed to the Volt project. Despite the personnel change, GM says the Volt is still planned for a November 2010 release.
Source: The Detroit News