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Bus maker Optare appoints former Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer as chairman

Time 10 months ago

Former Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer has been named as non-executive chairman of bus maker Optare.

The Brit stood down from the role of president and group CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda in May, and takes over from John Fickling.

British brand Optare is owned by India’s Ashok Leyland, the fourth largest bus maker in the world, and currently builds a range of buses including the UK’s first electric bus.

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Palmer said: ‘I am excited to be joining Optare at a pivotal moment in its development.

‘We have ambitious plans to leverage the company’s technological leadership in building a global zero emissions solution platform that will bring long-term value to all stakeholders.’

Palmer has been a non-executive member of the Ashok Leyland board since 2015.

He joined Aston Martin in 2014 from Nissan when the British luxury car company was close to bankruptcy.

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Aston Martin Lagonda was floated on the stock exchange in 2018, but the business has suffered financially and was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with shares dropping by more than 90 per cent.

The group recorded a £120m loss in the first three months of this year, with turnover falling by 60 per cent to £78.6m.

Along with Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda took park in an online summit last week to decide on a plan to stem a massive tide of job losses.

Aston Martin Lagonda, alone, has axed 500 jobs in an effort to restructure and save £10m.

James Batchelor

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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