Demand for cars in the US is likely to rise to up to 12 million units this year as the economy has bottomed, General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told CNBC on Monday.
But Lutz did not want to say whether he thought GM, which emerged from a brief period spent in bankruptcy last year in July, would be profitable this year.
"I think the goal would be to make money on an operating basis…we're sure going to fight for profitability," he told "Squawk Box."
GM Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre is "very much of a common sense person, an intuitive person," and this is what is currently needed among managers, said Lutz, adding that he believed Whitacre's approach for the company was the good one.
"I obviously believe yes (that Whitacre's approach is good) or I wouldn't hang around," he said.
China surpassed the US to become the world's biggest market for cars in 2009, with a record 13.6 million units sold compared with a 27-year low of 10.4 million cars and light trucks in the US.
Lutz made his comments on the opening day of the Detroit auto show.