Can Bob Lutz Recharge Exide?

The ex-Chrysler vet has his work cut out at the battery outfit

For years, Robert A. Lutz has soaked up accolades as the marketing genius behind the Dodge Viper and other snazzy vehicles that helped pull Chrysler Corp. from a second brush with bankruptcy in the early 1990s. The cigar-chomping, silver-haired ex-Marine fighter pilot embraced his role as the auto industry's ultimate "car guy." So when he stepped down as vice-chairman last year, on the eve of Chrysler's merger with Daimler-Benz, he could have ridden into the sunset as one of Detroit's most colorful icons.

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