Just a few months ago, back in January,Aston Martin Racing team boss Otmar Szafnauer walked away from the team over creative differences with Canadian Aston financier Lawrence Stroll. At the time it was reported that the head of the brand’s road car division would also be ousted, but Stroll stated that reports claiming he was courting replacements for Tobias Moers were “categorically not true.” Be that as it may, it was confirmed on Tuesday that Moers would be leaving the brand with immediate effect.
Reportedly the departure of the CEO again comes after creative differences with Stroll. Perhaps part of those creative differences are related to the company’s 2021 profit failings, and further delays getting cars into customer hands. Amidst supply chain difficulties and international war, the company’s flagship Valkyrie has seen several key delays, and cost the company millions. Just ten of the Valkyrie models were delivered to customers in 2021, about half of what the company had expected.
Moers only just took over the Chief Executive position in May of 2020, replacing the long tenured Andy Palmer. He had big shoes to fill, as Palmer was the architect of modern Aston Martin, developing the brand from an also-ran former Ford cast off to a real player in the segment. Moers walked back many of Palmer’s later days projects, including the in-house developed V6 engine and all-electric Lagonda luxury models. These ideas were exciting and could have developed a lot of tech for Aston, but ultimately were deemed too expensive to carry on.
Moers was apparently in talks to develop a German tech base for Aston Martin, moving R&D out of the Gaydon facility and strengthening ties with company stakeholder Mercedes-Benz. According to reports from Car Magazine, Stroll is more interested in setting the R&D in Italy to give the Brit brand a bit more flair. It is also rumored that the replacement CEO will be former Ferrari CEO Amedo Felisa, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
The rumor mill is alight with conversations that Audi is interested in purchasing Aston Martin outright for assistance with its 2026 Formula One bid, and that Geely is also interested in a buyout. Who knows if that is going to happen, but it’s possible that Stroll was more interested in walking away from Mercedes to keep those prospects alive.