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Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer reported to leave luxury car giant

Lily Canter
·2-min read
Andy Palmer, the CEO of Aston Martin, leaves after attending a meeting of business leaders at 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Andy Palmer, the CEO of Aston Martin. Photo: AP/Matt Dunham

Aston Martin (AML.L) chief Andy Palmer is to leave the struggling luxury carmaker and be replaced by Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers in a management shake-up.

According to a range of reports from Reuters and The Guardian, Palmer will be leaving amid the group’s stock price crashing 98% since it floated on the stock market less than two years ago.

The 107-year-old firm, best known as James Bond's car of choice, said in a statement to the press that it was "reviewing its management team and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.” It did not, however, comment on names specifically.

The British sports car maker has seen its share price plummet since floating in October 2018 and in recent months the coronavirus outbreak has hit demand and forced factories to suspend production.

Earlier this month the company posted a deep first-quarter loss after sales dropped by almost a third.

“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 in May.

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Palmer's future as chief executive has been under scrutiny since a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought a 20% stake in Aston Martin for almost £200m ($243.62m) in January.

The emergency investment was part of a £500m rescue deal, with the rest of the cash coming from a rights issues from leading current shareholders.

Speaking after the bailout, Palmer admitted the past year had been a "regrettably disappointing and challenging time" for the company.

Palmer and Germany’s Daimler AG which owns a 5% stake in Aston Martin and supplies the carmaker with Mercedes-AMG engines, have declined to comment on whether the chief executive will be forced to leave.

An official announcement is expected on Tuesday.