Andy Palmer Replaced by AMG Boss Tobias Moers at Aston Martin

Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.

Andy Palmer Out at Aston Martin

Andy Palmer joined Aston Martin from Nissan in 2014, and it’s been a wild ride. He oversaw a huge product offensive for a brand that had grown stagnant in the late 2000s, and in 2018, took the company public. That decision proved costly—Aston Martin shares were worth £19 at its IPO, but fell all the way to 35 pence by last Friday. Uncertainty around Brexit, lack of demand for the new Vantage, and now, the coronavirus pandemic have dealt a blow to Aston. In January, Canadian investor Lawrence Stroll gave Aston a £560 million lifeline and joined its board.

Now, Palmer’s tenure is coming to a close. First reported over the weekend by the Financial Times, and confirmed by Aston Martin today, Palmer will vacate his position to be replaced by Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers. It’s sad to see Palmer go, as he’san unusually outspoken executive with seemingly endless ambition and real car-enthusiast credentials. But, he has a capable replacement. Moers took the top job at AMG in 2013, and has lead the Mercedes subsidiary to great success. He’s also a hard-core enthusiast himself, and is never afraid to speak his mind. Moers will join the company on August 1st.

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.

McLaren to Lay Off 1200 Employees

Aston Martin isn’t the only high-end British automotive brand to be hit hard by the global pandemic. McLaren announced today that it’s laying off 1200 employees across the company, representing nearly a quarter of its workforce. Sky Sports reports that there are a number of reasons for the cuts. McLaren is hurting because its Formula 1 team isn’t racing, and the pandemic has slowed demand for its road cars. There’s also a $145 million cost cap coming to F1 in 2021.

“We deeply regret the impact that this restructure will have on all our people, but especially those whose jobs may be affected,” McLaren chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement. “It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business. But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce.”

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