AUTO EX­PRESS PER­SON OF THE PAST 30 YEARS

ANDY PALMER

Auto Express - - On Your Side -

the Asian eco­nomic cri­sis. But by de­ter­mi­na­tion and a com­mit­ment to fol­low­ing a path to­wards re­li­a­bil­ity and qual­ity it sur­vived and has grown con­sis­tently ever since.

“The true chal­lenge has been to move the Kia brand from the low­lands of ‘bud­get-brand’ to the cur­rent heights of stylish, as­pi­ra­tional, qual­ity main­stream with some ex­cep­tional prod­ucts such as the Stinger Gran Turismo show­ing just where our tech­no­log­i­cal, engi­neer­ing and dy­namic am­bi­tions lie.

“De­liv­er­ing ad­vanced qual­ity prod­ucts to a grow­ing cus­tomer base de­mands con­sis­tency and com­mit­ment, and in ev­ery part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion there is a shared hunger to change per­cep­tions about Kia and to ex­ceed the ex­pec­ta­tions of those mo­torists who put their trust in us.”

“The true chal­lenge has been to move the Kia brand from the low­lands of ‘bud­get­brand’ to the cur­rent heights of stylish, as­pi­ra­tional, qual­ity main­stream with some ex­cep­tional prod­ucts” Paul Philpott Pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive at Kia Mo­tors (UK) Lim­ited

ANDY Palmer is no stranger to the pages of Auto Ex­press. In 2012 he was the first num­ber one in the an­nual Auto Ex­press Brit List, re­ceiv­ing a place in the Auto Ex­press Hall of Fame as a re­sult. Since then, he has ar­guably gone on to even greater things as the pres­i­dent and CEO of As­ton Martin, re­viv­ing and repo­si­tion­ing the Bri­tish brand as the maker of beau­ti­ful, lux­u­ri­ous sport­ing cars that are the envy of the world.

With his work at Nis­san in help­ing to shape cars like the Qashqai and Leaf, plus his work at As­ton Martin, he was the clear choice when it came to recog­nis­ing the in­di­vid­ual who has made the big­gest im­pact over the 30 years Auto Ex­press has been pub­lished.

Palmer’s ca­reer started out as an engi­neer­ing stu­dent be­fore mov­ing on to Austin Rover. There he worked on ev­ery­thing from the Mini to the Rover/honda re­la­tion­ship, be­fore join­ing Nis­san in 1991. Over the next 23 years, he had re­spon­si­bil­ity for all of Nis­san’s prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing, as well as for lux­ury brand In­finiti.

It had to be some­thing very spe­cial to tear him away, and it was – the of­fer to head up one of the great au­to­mo­tive brands: As­ton Martin. In just over four years, he’s trans­formed its prod­uct lineup into a group of world beat­ers with ex­cit­ing plans for an SUV, elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, UK man­u­fac­tur­ing, the re­vival of Lagonda as an all-elec­tric lux­ury brand and mo­tor­sport suc­cess. Most im­por­tantly, As­ton Martin is back in the black and prof­itable un­der Palmer.

Palmer him­self is hum­ble enough to stress that it’s all been a team ef­fort, both at Nis­san and As­ton. But ev­ery team needs a leader and Palmer is a man, an en­gi­neer, who leads from the front with a com­bi­na­tion of in­tel­li­gence, as­tute­ness and hu­mil­ity that has made him the most in­flu­en­tial per­son in the mo­tor in­dus­try over the past 30 years.

“With his work at Nis­san in help­ing to shape cars like the Qashqai and Leaf, plus his work at As­ton Martin, he was the clear choice”

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