Aston Martin turns to Nissan for new chief executive

Aston Martin One-77 Image copyright Getty Images

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has hired senior Nissan executive Andy Palmer as its new chief executive.

Aston Martin has been without a chief executive since Ulrich Bez stepped down after turning 70 in November 2013.

Mr Palmer, 51, will take over at Aston "after he completes a transition period from his current employer", the carmaker said in a statement.

The departure of Mr Palmer, who oversaw Nissan's Infiniti unit, sparked a reshuffle at the Renault-Nissan group.

He will be replaced at Nissan by Renault's Philippe Klein.

Mr Palmer is a UK-born chartered engineer who has spent 35 years in the automotive industry, starting as an apprentice at Automotive Products and then moving to Austin Rover.

Image copyright Aston Martin
Image caption Andrew Palmer joined Nissan in 1991

He joined Nissan in 1991, and has been based in Japan for the past 13 years.

Mr Palmer joins Aston Martin at what the company called "its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date".

Aston Martin is in a competitive battle with larger premium carmakers, and is investing heavily in vehicle and engine technologies.

It is investing about £500m, including more than £20m to extend its manufacturing facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire.

The UK carmaker has also forged closer co-operation on engines and electronics with Germany's Daimler.

The German company owns 5% of Aston Martin, but its three big shareholders are Kuwait's Investment Dar and Adeem Investment, and Italian private-equity firm Investindustrial.

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