Yes, this is really happening.
Having struggled over the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problems for Aston Martin. And now there is going to be a major management shake-up at the highest level. According to Reuters, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has decided to step down from his position and will be replaced by Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers.
Aston Martin has not yet released an official statement on the matter, but it is expected shortly.
The choice of Tobias to run the legendary UK brand should not come as a big surprise. Mercedes-AMG's parent company, Daimler, already owns a 5 percent stake in Aston Martin and supplies it with the AMG-built engines, specifically the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the Aston Martin Vantage.
This past January, Aston Martin received a major financial lifeline when Canadian billionaire and Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll led a group of investors to purchase a 25 percent stake in the company totaling about $657 million. One of Stroll's first acts was hitting the brakes on the company's electric vehicle plans with its revitalized Lagonda brand. This was one of Palmer's signature initiatives. Stroll instead wants to have an Aston Martin F1 team.
Another major business move on Palmer's part is the Aston Martin DBX SUV, which recently began production at a brand new facility in Wales. The DBX needs to be a financial success. Otherwise, the company will find itself in an even deeper hole.
Meanwhile, final development continues for the upcoming Valkyrie hypercar as well as the mid-engined Valhalla. However, we reported earlier this month that the future of the next-generation Vanquish is now in doubt due to financial concerns. Aston Martin also recently revealed its first in-house built engine since 1969, a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Both hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems are also in development that will help give this V6 an even greater output than the current 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 with 715 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.
We'll have more updates regarding Aston Martin's new leadership and other relevant details hopefully tomorrow.