The former Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer has been promoted to chief executive of Switch Mobility, a maker of electric buses, as part of a drive to expand its business.
Palmer, wie was ousted from Aston Martin last year after a disastrous slump in the luxury carmaker’s share price following its flotation in 2018, was already vice-chairman of the company.
Switch is owned by Ashok Leyland, the Indian maker of buses and commercial vehicles, which is controlled by the Hinduja family. Palmer, 58, will take control of Ashok Leyland’s push into electrical vehicles as it seeks to expand into making electric vans.
Switch Mobility, formerly known as Optare, supplies 67 electric buses to London’s fleet of 500, with another 30 being built at its Yorkshire factory. London’s fleet of electric buses is expected to be increased to 700 teen die einde van die jaar, out of a fleet of 9,000 mainly diesel vehicles. Switch has so far made a total of 208 electric buses in the UK.
Palmer’s appointment marks a first return to an executive role since he left Aston Martin after the company’s share price slumped by 98%, from £19 a share at the flotation in October 2018 to only 35p at the time of his ousting in May 2020. Palmer had served as chief executive at Aston Martin since 2014, reviving the company’s fortunes and spearheading its push into developing its first SUV, the DBX.
The Canadian fashion and retail billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who also owns a Formula One team, led a £536m deal to rescue Aston Martin in 2020.
Palmer formerly worked at Nissan and helped launch the company’s first electric car, the Leaf, and also previously ran its van division.