2015 Aston Martin VanquishEnlarge Photo
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that senior Renault Nissan executive Andy Palmer will be joining Aston Martin as its new CEO. Palmer is a Nissan veteran, having worked for the firm since 1991, and was widely tipped as a replacement for Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, so the move came as quite a surprise to most in the auto world.
It has now come to light that during Palmer’s time at Renault Nissan, he had attempted to convince Ghosn and other senior managers to allow Nissan to purchase a stake in Aston Martin. The information was revealed to Reuters by sources with knowledge of the matter.
"We looked carefully at the proposal but we passed on it," one company insider said.
Not long ago Aston Martin was struggling to find cash to fund development of new models and ultimately saw 35 percent of its shares sold to Italian private equity group Investindustrial in a deal signed in late 2012. An additional 5 percent of the British sports car brand was transferred to Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, in a second deal signed last year to acquire engines and electronic systems from the German auto giant’s Mercedes-AMG performance unit.
It is now thought that Palmer’s appointment as Aston Martin CEO will see the brand’s ties with Daimler further deepen, as Palmer was influential in the original 2010 deal that saw the Renault Nissan alliance partner with Daimler. These auto giants already share engines, platforms and manufacturing facilities, and their ties are set to grow in coming years.