Aston Martin to replace director Tobias Moers in management overhaul

Aston Martin will replace its chief executive officer and overhaul its management structure as the luxury carmaker looks to rebuild its engineering team before ramping up production of electric vehicles.

Tobias Moers, who was poached by chairman Lawrence Stroll two years ago from Mercedes AMG, will leave the board immediately and be replaced by former Ferrari chief executive Amedeo Felisa, the company confirmed on Wednesday. . The Financial Times reported on the moves on Tuesday.

Felisa, 76, will join the company “in the near future”, Stroll said on Wednesday, adding that the man’s soul was “young”.

Shares rose 7% to 905.26p mid-morning on Wednesday after rallying as much as 11% at one point.

The shake-up came as Aston reported a pre-tax loss of £111m in the first quarter, increasing its loss of £42m a year earlier, as sales rose 4% to £233m due to amortization fees. higher loss.

Moers will leave after presiding over a mental breakdown at the business as he oversees the luxury automaker’s turnaround.

Stroll, who spearheaded a corporate bailout in 2020, brought him into the business as chief operating officer and chief technical officer.

He is knowledgeable in forensics and technical details, but is known for his strong management style.

According to people inside and close to the group, dozens of senior employees left the company during Moers’ two-year term, although many were replaced.

Stroll said Wednesday that Moers has brought “significant discipline to its operations” but that the company needs “more collaboration and a more cohesive way of working” going forward, as well as a chief technical officer. technical dedication, a role that Moers assumes with his director acting as executive director.

Philippe Houchois, an analyst at Jefferies, said the appointment of Felisa and new chief financial officer Doug Lafferty “hopes to help stabilize management throughout the company”.

In addition to dividing the roles of chief executive officer and chief technical officer, Stroll said he “wanted someone who understood and experienced higher-priced and premium products” to lead the company as it pushed to raise prices and revive prices. luxurious look.

Felisa, who joined Aston’s board last summer as a non-executive, worked at Ferrari from the 1990s until 2016, becoming the automaker’s chief executive. supercar in 2008.

The group appointed Roberto Fedeli, the Italian engineer behind the Ferrari “LaFerrari” supercar, on Wednesday as its technical director, while Stroll said several new appointments are expected later this month. .

Average selling price for the quarter rose to £151,000 from £149,000 a year earlier, but profitability has been slashed by debt servicing and amortization.

The group has set aside £59 million in depreciation as it has written down the development costs of existing models before launching a new range of sports cars in 2023.

The interest payments, which have driven the company to losses in recent quarters, will also be £25m higher than expected £195m for this year, the company said. due in part to a revaluation of the group’s dollar debt following a drop in the pound sterling.

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