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Aston Martin to tap AMG head as new CEO in management shakeup

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Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings is poised to replace chief executive officer Andy Palmer with the head of Daimler AG's Mercedes-AMG performance division, according to people familiar with the matter.

[FRANKFURT] Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings is poised to replace chief executive officer Andy Palmer with the head of Daimler AG's Mercedes-AMG performance division, according to people familiar with the matter.

AMG head Tobias Moers could be named as Aston Martin's new chief as soon as this week, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is confidential.

In a statement, Aston Martin said it's reviewing its management team and any announcement will "be made as and when appropriate." The Financial Times reported earlier on the planned changes.

The shakeup comes less than two months after the British sportscar maker brought in new investors led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who became executive chairman. The 536 million-pound (US$663 million) capital infusion he led 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 98 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.

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Mr Palmer, who joined Aston Martin from Nissan in 2014, has been focused on the introduction of the pivotal DBX, a US$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 sports cars made famous in the early James Bond movies.

DBX orders have continued to grow even with most Aston Martin 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 operating loss in the three months ended in March and said it couldn't give a clear view on the full-year outlook.

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