Aston Martin Boss Shown the Door; New One Opens for Mercedes-AMG CEO
A cross-Channel coup of sorts has seen Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer replaced by Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers in a move made official by the British luxury performance brand Tuesday morning.
Head of Aston since 2014, Palmer’s ouster reportedly came after the recently listed automaker’s stock price plummeted through the end of 2019, with the coronavirus pandemic only adding to its downward momentum — a trajectory shared in the first quarter of 2020 by the company’s sales and revenue.
Will Moers be able to cultivate some AMG-like magic in British soil?
After posting a pre-tax loss of $21 million last year, Aston’s Q1 2020 results were not what the company had envisioned just months prior. The quarterly loss came in at $146 million. Struggling long before the virus’ arrival, Aston picked up a major investor (and executive chairman) in the form of Canadian billionaire and Racing Point F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll in January.
Both Stroll and Palmer donned optimistic hats during the company’s Q1 earnings call, claiming this summer’s arrival of the DBX SUV would help turn things around.
It has been an honour and pleasure to be part of the Aston Martin family & to have worked alongside some exceptional women & men. Thanks also to our customers & followers. Aston Martin exists because you believe, as I do, that this company represents something special. Thank you.
— Dr. Andy Palmer (@AndyatAuto) May 26, 2020
It’s now Moers job to reverse the company’s falling fortunes. Head of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG sub-brand since 2013, Moers, 54, arrives in Gaydon, Warwickshire on August 1st (Keith Stanton, Aston’s vice president, holds down the fort until then).
Aston clearly liked what its saw in Moers’ handling — and more specifically, expansion — of the AMG sub-brand in past years. If you hadn’t noticed, there’s an AMG for everyone these days.
“Under Tobias’ leadership, Mercedes-AMG has more than doubled its product portfolio and quadrupled the number of AMG units sold, with a clear pipeline of further expansion opportunities, especially in electrification of powertrains in the performance segment,” the British automaker said in a release.
“Tobias’ focus on operating and manufacturing efficiency has delivered significant margin expansion. This strong financial performance was supported by the introduction of a clear brand management strategy, which delivered a measurable increase in brand value and awareness.”
As reported by the Financial Times (via The Guardian), Palmer’s ouster at the hands of Aston Martin’s board came as a shock to the now former CEO. Before gushing about the incoming Moers, Stroll gave Palmer a respectful send-off.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Andy for his hard work, personal commitment and dedication to Aston Martin Lagonda since 2014,” Stroll said. “In that time the Company has successfully renewed its core sports car range, with the DB11, Vantage and DBS Superleggera and has brought the brand’s first SUV, DBX to a point of readiness for deliveries to start in the summer. Furthermore, the development of the era-defining Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar has paved the way for the mid-engined range to come. I would also like to recognise his leadership through the current challenges and uncertainties presented by COVID-19.”
[Images: Aston Martin]
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