Aston Martin DBX
Source: Aston Martin
Shares of Aston Martin surged Tuesday after the famed British car brand announced the head of Mercedes-Benz’s performance division as its next CEO.
Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, will replace Andy Palmer, who is stepping down effective immediately after leading Aston Martin since 2014. Moers will begin Aug. 1, the company said Tuesday.
Shares of Aston Martin jumped about 40% on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday before leveling off to about 43.50 pounds, up roughly 23%. The company went public with shares at 19 pounds in October 2018.
Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin executive chairman, said in a statement Tuesday that the company’s board “determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans.”
Keith Stanton, head of Aston Martin’s manufacturing, is appointed interim chief operating officer to support Stroll ahead of Moers joining the company.
The management shakeup comes months after Stroll, a Canadian billionaire, became Aston Martin chairman in March after providing £536 million ($653 million) in cash to save the company.
Aston Martin, best known for being fictional agent James Bond’s brand of choice, has struggled for years to gain traction with its car-centric lineup. The company is pinning much of its future success on the upcoming DBX, its first-ever SUV. The $189,900 vehicle is due out this summer.
The automaker also faces a challenging global vehicle market due to the coronavirus pandemic. Auto research firm IHS Markit expects worldwide vehicle sales to decline 22% this year to less than 70 million units, led by a roughly 27% fall in the U.S. to 12.5 million units, compared with a year ago.
Moers, in a statement, said he is “truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point of its development.”