Wednesday, June 3, 2020

THE UPS, DOWNS AND SIDEWAYS SLIDING AT ASTON MARTIN by John Crawford

Nothing like losing money to encourage a shake-up on the top tier of management. Aston Martin shares cost AUD$35 at the IPO, but since then have lost 98% of their value and trade for AUD$0.65!


Tobias (top), Andy (below)
There's a new Chairman, Lawrence Stroll, who allowed incumbent CEO Andy Palmer occupy his own office for a few months, but now, he's headed for 'gardening leave' or, most likely a new job! He's replaced by head of AMG, Tobias Moer.

Now, Mercedes-Benz holds a 5% stake in Aston Martin and supplies the AMG V8 for the Vantage and DB11, but Stroll was at pains to point out this had nothing to do with Tobias coming in as CEO. Yeah, right!

I'm told Mercedes-Benz may be considering taking a bigger share in Aston Martin, and if that's the case it has told Stroll, that Palmer had to go.

One asks, was Stroll influenced by the fact that AMG also provides race engines to the Racing Point (sorry, Aston Martin) F1 team?


Then there's big changes in Australia and New Zealand too with incumbent Kevin Wall moving out to open a consultancy, and former Bentley and RMA Group honcho, Neil Hughes moving in to run the antipodean operations.


Kevin Wall (left) and Neil Hughes
Kevin Wall did a great job boosting Aston Martin's profile and sales during his stint, but clearly Stroll wants a more aggressive 'suit' running the Down Under Division.

See what happens when you go public, and the shareholders get shitty when the share price tanks, because the luxo sports cars aren't selling in the current market environment.

Mind you, everything to do with today's car market is totally out-of-control, so the executive suite shuffle could be just re-arranging the deck chairs.

My view is that Aston Martin as a standalone brand is done for, so all we need to do is watch this space to see who snaps it up, at a bargain basement price.

John Crawford

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