Aston Martin’s financial woes are well documented and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated problems for the British carmaker. Following a 98 per cent collapse in the luxury car company’s share price since it floated on the stock market less than two years ago, a major management shake-up is on the cards and it starts with Andy Palmer being sacked as CEO.
Palmer has served as the head of Aston Martin since 2014 having previously had a long tenure at Nissan and Infiniti. He will be replaced by Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG since late 2013, on August 1.
“It has been a privilege to serve Aston Martin Lagonda for almost six years. The launch of many new products including the new DBX demonstrates the dedication and capability of our employees”, commented Palmer. “I would like to thank my management team and all the staff for their hard work and support, particularly during the challenges presented by COVID-19. I am proud of you all and it’s been an honor to work with you.”
The move for Tobias is not a surprise, not when Mercedes-AMG's parent company, Daimler, already owns a 5 per cent stake in Aston Martin and supplies the brand with its AMG-built engines.
In January, Aston Martin received a major financial lifeline when Lawrence Stroll led a group of investors to purchase a 25 percent stake in the company for $657 million. The Canadian billionaire immediately put the brakes on Aston’s electric vehicle plans with its revitalized Lagonda brand - one of Palmer's main initiatives, along with the DBX SUV. Instead, Stroll wants to have an Aston Martin F1 team.
The DBX needs to be a financial success otherwise Aston Martin – whose share price continues to fall - will find themselves in a bigger financial mess.
Aston Martin’s shares have collapsed since its October 2018 public listing and seen the company’s market valuation fall from more than £4 billion ($4.87 billion) to £562 million ($684 million).
Its losses had ballooned to £119 million ($144 million) in the first three months of the year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mercedes-AMG’s new boss is Philipp Schiemer while Jochen Hermann will be the new CTO.