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Former Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer joins electric bus company Optare

Dr Andy Palmer

Former Aston Martin president and chief executive Dr Andy Palmer has joined UK bus manufacturer Optare as its new president.

Palmer, whose departure from struggling sports car maker Aston Martin was confirmed back in May, takes over from John Fickling at the electric bus maker, which is owned by India’s Ashok Leyland.

Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers set to become Aston Martin CEO on August 1.

Palmer, meanwhile, is set to build on his relationship with Optare’s parent, Ashok Leyland, where he has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2015.

In an official statement related to his move, Palmer said: “I am excited to be joining Optare at a pivotal moment in its development.

“We have ambitious plans to leverage the company’s technological leadership in building a global zero emissions solution platform that will bring long-term value to all stakeholders.”

Palmer joined Aston Martin as chief executive in 2014 from Nissan and oversaw a revival at the company that was close to bankruptcy.

In the two years since its initial public offering in 2018 the business has suffered financially, however, with its share prices falling by more than 90%.

The group recorded a £120m loss in the first three months of this year, with turnover declining by 60% to £78.6m.

Hopes of Aston Martin’s future success have been pinned on the success of the brand’s debut SUV, the DBX, which is now being built in a purpose-built production facility in St Athan, South Wales, and its new range of mid-engined supercars.

The brand’s change of emphasis is part of a plan for a “fundamental reset” for the business laid out by its executive chairman, Canadian Billionaire and Formula One team boss Lawrence Stroll, on June 4.

Aston Martin’s plan includes the axing of 500 jobs as part of a restructure of its operations designed to save £10 million each year.

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