Palmer Gets Handshake, Waving Goodbye to Aston
Part of a management shake-up this week
A new report says that Aston Martin CEO is out, being replaced in the top spot at the company by Mercedes-AMG chief exec Tobias Moers. The news comes as part of a big shakeup at the automaker that started with Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll leading investment into the automaker and being named chairman. Things were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic arriving just as the automaker was about to launch what might be its most important model ever, and may not be done yet.
Reuters cites “a source familiar with the matter” as passing on the information that Andy Palmer would be replaced by Moers as part of a management shake-up this week. Though it said that the automaker (as well as Palmer and Daimler AG) declined to comment on the matter, Aston did confirm that it was reviewing its management team.
“We were obviously fairly significantly hit by COVID-19, starting with China in January but more clearly in what we saw as it came across towards Europe and the United States,” Palmer told Reuters earlier this month.
Palmer took the top spot at Aston Martin in late 2014, and, up until recently, was credited for directing the brand toward an improved image, increased presence, and, importantly, profitability. Something the automaker had struggled with since its founding. However, a 2018 share offering, falling sales through 2019, and then delays of the DBX crossover, have quickly reversed the company’s fortunes.
The CEO started his career with supplier UK Automotive Products, moving to Nissan in 1991. There he moved to manage vehicle design and testing, was program director for the company’s light commercial vehicles, and eventually in charge of global product planning.
Moers was named CEO of Mercedes-AMG in 2013, and had been with the performance group of Mercedes since 1994, taking over the AMG model series development in 1999.
Aston has had a partnership of sorts with Mercedes-AMG parent Daimler since 2013, when Daimler took a 5 percent stake in Aston and announced it would supply the British automaker with Mercedes-AMG engines for its next vehicles as well as technology that included Mercedes infotainment systems. The V8 Vantage of 2018 and the DB11 use the AMG 4.0L V8, as will the DBX crossover.
As part of Stroll’s consortium buying a roughly 20 percent stake in Aston Martin at the start of this year, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 racing team boss and CEO Toto Wolff took a share in the automaker, leading to rumours of further collaboration between the team and Stroll’s Racing Point F1 team, set to become Aston Martin’s works F1 team beginning next season.