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Saving GM: Dale Jr., Lutz Candor and Design Studio Buzz

GM logo, General Motors logo
GM logo, General Motors logo

Over the last year of putting together our CNBC documentary, co-workers have asked me time and again about my favorite moments. When you watch "Saving GM" tonight, you will see some of them. But here are my top 3.

1. Pushing the Camaro with Dale Jr.

When Dale Earnhardt Jr. choppered into the GM test track in Australia, I admit I was excited. When he asked me to hop in the Camaro, he gave me a great ride. It wasn't just that he pushed the new Camaro. It was getting his insight into what he liked or did not like in the new Chevy. Overall, he was very happy with the Camaro.

2. Bob Lutz candor

GM's vice chair is always candid and blunt. You know that before the interview starts. But when we walked around GM's past and present models, Lutz held no punches. He readily admits that the design and appeal of GM models in the past have embarrassing. Have you gone back and looked at the interior of the '82 Cadillac Cimarron? It's awful and Lutz admits GM's years of "cheaping out" on the jewelry of cars and trucks has hurt the company. That candor is eclipsed only by the passion he shows when talking about why new models like the Malibu are hit cars.

3. Design Studio Buzz

From GM's Volt lab in Detroit to it's design studio in Melbourne, Australia to it's courtyard in Seoul, South Korea where Design Chief Ed Welburn reviewed models in development seeing GM's pipeline was eye-opening. There are new cars coming that should be hits for GM. Even more impressive was the "buzz" or energy I got from GM's designers. They know that they have to come up with winners consistently. After seeing what I have seen, I think they've got a good head start.

Don't forget "Saving GM" debuts tonight at 9 Eastern on CNBC. After it runs, drop me a quick e-mail with your thoughts.

CNBC Original Productions: Saving General Motors
CNBC Original Productions: Saving General Motors

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com