Aston Martin's new CEO, Tobias Moers, has been spearheading growth at Daimler's Mercedes-AMG performance division for the past seven years, expanding the unit's product line and quadrupling its vehicle sales to a record 132,136 last year.
Moers, a German engineer from the Black Forest region, must now reverse the fortunes of the cash-strapped UK sports-car maker that is betting its future on the DBX, its first SUV.
Moers, 54, signaled he would be fit for the Aston Martin job as far back as a year ago.
"My ambition is to take on more responsibility, I am a strategist," Moers told German newspaper Die Welt, which called him Daimler's "hidden champion" in a story published in February 2019. "I know how the big picture works and have the view for the essentials."
Moers has worked for Mercedes-AMG since 1994. He was appointed CEO in 2013. The unit has proved to be fertile ground for bigger careers at Daimler.
Moers's predecessors at AMG include current CEO Ola Kallenius, the company's China head Hubertus Troska and former management board member Wolfgang Bernhard.
Moers successfully added hybrid versions and compact cars such as the GLA 45 to Mercedes-AMG's lineup since taking over at the unit in late 2013. But one of his landmark projects, the Mercedes Project ONE hybrid supercar inspired by Formula 1 technology, faced delays.
Moers will take over from Andy Palmer as Aston Martin CEO in August.
Aston Martin has tried to emulate the success of Ferrari yet has lost more than 90 percent of its value since going public in 2018.
Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll threw the automaker a fresh lifeline with a sizable cash injection in March, but the coronavirus crisis that has shuttered showrooms and dampened consumer demand is complicating recovery efforts.
Moers's appointment should boost confidence in Aston Martin ahead of the key rollout of the DBX in July, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Dean.
The appointment "helps solidify Aston's relationship with Mercedes," Dean said.