Stumbling cult brand – This man should bring the Aston Martin to the breakthrough
Aston Martin puts 76-year-old Ferrari veteran Amedeo Felisa at the helm and remembers German manager Tobias Moers. The Italian understands luxury and expensive cars, but will he fix the British carmaker’s main flaw?
Aston Martin does not stop. On Wednesday, the British luxury sports carmaker named its third CEO in three years. Amedeo Felisa, historic Ferrari boss, replaces the German Tobias Moers with immediate effect. Lawrence Stroll took him from Mercedes AMG two years ago when the Canadian billionaire joined Aston Martin.
Moers “has brought considerable discipline into the work processes. The benefits are evident in improving the performance of our business and in our fantastic new products, “said Stroll. In the first quarter, however, the pre-tax loss more than doubled to 112 million pounds (133 million euros). Sales rose 4% to 233 million pounds, thanks to higher car prices, with 1,168 sports cars sold, down 14% from the same quarter last year.
The British automaker, not least known for its James Bond company cars, has gone through a lot of turmoil in its 109-year history. The company survived seven bankruptcies on its own. Most recently, the 2018 IPO hit Aston Martin. High development costs and difficult product launches have increased the debt.
Since its initial listing, the stock has been steadily increasing. On Wednesday afternoon, despite a significant jump of nearly 9%, it was quoted at 920.74 pence, less than a tenth of the issue price.
“The news that former Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa has taken the helm of Aston Martin has given an otherwise uninspiring earnings boost,” said Laura Hoy, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Business with stylish sports cars has been far from bright in recent years, but the market expects Felisa to be able to announce a turnaround.
The 76-year-old Italian has been working for Ferrari since the 1990s. He was CEO of the sports carmaker for the past eight years before retiring in 2016. He has since continued to work as an industry consultant, including for US-Chinese start-up Silk-FAW, which specializes in electric sports cars. Stroll announced that Felisa, who has served on Aston Martin’s board of directors since last summer, will lead the company in the near future.
The man in his seventies – 20 years older than Moers – was “young at heart”. According to the Canadian with close ties to racing, it was crucial to find someone at the top who understood luxury and expensive products. Even before joining Aston Martin, he had bought the Formula 1 Racing Point team, which has been competing in Formula 1 like Aston Martin since last year. Among the drivers are Stroll’s son, Lance, and Sebastian Vettel.
Additionally, Aston Martin appointed Roberto Fedeli as Chief Technology Officer, a department for which Moers was responsible in addition to his position as CEO. Fedeli became known as the engineer who developed the “LaFerrari” sports car. More new additions would be announced in the coming weeks, Stroll announced.
Suv and supersports on the program
Moers should have been offended by his uncompromising style. “The company was in trouble, which I expected. But it was worse than I thought, however bad it could be, “he said in an interview in 2021. Several British media reports the company has lost dozens of longtime employees from senior management levels under his leadership. Stroll has stated that now is the time to encourage better collaboration and closer exchanges.
It has significant growth goals. He wants to increase sales from the last 6,200 vehicles to 10,000 cars, also thanks to new models such as the DBX 707 luxury SUV and the V12 Vantage sports car. Up to 90 models of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, a racing car for road traffic, will be delivered to customers this year.
However, many observers point to a significant problem in the program. “Without an electric car on offer, the Aston Martin could be at the bottom,” said analyst Hoy. The first electric version is not expected until 2025.
At least in another point it gives the green light. “Fortunately, Aston Martin customers shouldn’t be overly affected by rising gas prices and are unlikely to feel the pressure on the cost of living.”
“All About Stocks” is the daily snapshot of WELT’s corporate editorial staff. Every morning from 7 am with our financial reporters. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple podcast, Amazon Music And deezer Or directly from RSS Feed.