Aston Martin taps Nissan boss Andy Palmer as new CEO image

Following a Financial Times report that the Japanese automaker’s executive has moved from Nissan to Britain’s 101-year-old sports carmaker – Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. released a statement confirming the appointment.

The Renault Nissan alliance could be shaken by the latest auto industry moves –in July its premium brand Infiniti also lost its chief, Johan de Nysschen, to General Motors’ Cadillac brand.

The British marque, among the last standalone exotic manufacturers aims to recuperate its position lost to the likes of Bentley, Porsche and Ferrari. That could be very hard, as the brand lacks the financial backing of a bigger automaker, with plans to refresh its ageing model line-up already postponed.

“It’s a bit of a risky move,” comments Ashvin Chotai, from research company Intelligence Automotive Asia. “Aston Martin is a fairly small player” that’s facing “a lot of challenges,” and “if he turns it around, the rewards are big.”

“We’re delighted that Andy will join us as our new CEO at this important time at Aston Martin. Andy’s wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in marketing and sales, engineering and technology, and luxury and brand management will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date,” comments Aston’s shareholder board in the statement.

Palmer began his automotive stint in 1979 aged 16, as an apprentice at UK’s Automotive Products Limited. He joined Nissan back in 1991 and for the past 13 years has been working from Japan. He becomes the new chief executive officer at Aston Martin after departing from his previous position as Nissan’s executive vice president and chief planning officer.