Auto Aston Martin
Aston Martin hopes to deliver a solid hit with its first SUV, the DBX. But the manufacturer had been burning up its cash reserves and had to call in for fresh support. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

London: The sportscar maker Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings is poised to replace CEO Andy Palmer with the head of Daimler AG's Mercedes-AMG performance division, Tobias Moers.

In a statement, Aston Martin said it's reviewing its management team and any announcement will "be made as and when appropriate".

The shakeup comes less than two months after the British carmaker brought in new investors led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who became executive chairman. The 536 million pound ($663 million) capital infusion was meant to rescue the debt-laden company, which has struggled since Palmer took it public in 2018 with a plan to mimic the success of Italy's Ferrari NV.

Instead, sales stalled, inventory piled up and Aston Martin found itself short of cash earlier this year even before the coronavirus threw the auto industry into a virtual standstill. The company has seen its shares fall more than 90 per cent since the initial public offering.

Aston Martin said this month that it may need to raise more funds and take further steps to cut costs and control cash as the car-sales collapse upends its turnaround plan.

SUV launch

Palmer, who joined Aston Martin from Nissan in 2014, has been focused on the introduction of the pivotal DBX, a $189,000 sport utility vehicle at the heart of Aston Martin's comeback strategy. The company is banking on the model selling in higher volumes than the iconic sportscars made famous in the early James Bond movies.

Moers, 54, studied engineering in Offenburg, Germany. He briefly worked at an electric-car startup before joining AMG, where he has held the top job since October 2013. Under his watch, the performance-car brand expanded its product lineup, adding compact pocket rockets like the GLA 45, and stepped up development of hybrid models.

At Aston Martin, DBX orders have continued to grow even with most showrooms closed, the company has said. Deliveries are on track to begin in summer, and the company plans to launch derivative models in 2021.

Aston Martin reported a 76.6 million-pound operating loss in the three months ended in March, and said it couldn't give a clear view on the full-year outlook.