Aston Martin chief leaves amid share price collapse

Aston Martin cars Image copyright Reuters

Struggling luxury UK carmaker Aston Martin has announced that chief executive Andy Palmer has stepped down.

Tobias Moers is taking over from 1 August, with Keith Stanton filling the gap as interim chief operating officer.

Mr Moers joins from Mercedes’ high-performance subsidiary AMG, where he is currently chief executive.

Aston Martin was struggling before the coronavirus crisis hit sales and its share price is down 94% since the company’s flotation in 2018.

“The board has determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans,” Aston Martin said in a statement.

Aston Martin sales halved in the first three months of the year, as the start of the coronavirus crisis took hold. The company sold 578 vehicles in the first quarter, down from 1,057 in the same period last year.

It caused loss before tax to soar to £118.9m, up from £17.3m the year before.

In January this year, Aston Martin announced plans to raise emergency funding worth £500m, with a consortium led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll putting in £182m

Mr Stroll, who is now executive chairman of the firm, partly owns the Racing Point Formula 1 team, which will be branded Aston Martin from 2021 under the deal.

Mr Stroll said Mr Moers was “the right leader for Aston Martin Lagonda as we implement our strategy for the business to achieve its full potential”.

He added: “Our ambition for the company is significant, clear and only matched by our determination to succeed.”

Mr Moers said: “I am truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point of its development. I have always had a passion for performance cars and relish the chance to work for this iconic brand.”

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