Dr Andy Palmer is set to steer a new set of wheels. A little less than two months after he stepped down as CEO of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, Dr Palmer has taken charge as the chairman of Optare, the UK-based electric bus maker owned by India’s Ashok Leyland. He takes over from John Fickling, who is stepping down as Optare chairman due to personal reasons.
This role builds on Dr Palmer’s established relationship with Optare’s parent, Ashok Leyland, where he has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2015.
Commenting on the developments, Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman, Ashok Leyland, said, “John has played an anchor role in the stability of Optare during crucial periods as chairman of the Board. I would like to thank him for his support and guidance in the last 10 years and wish him the very best in his future endeavours. The next phase of Optare’s growth is centred on expanding our electric vehicle business in the UK and many new markets. To help guide in our mission to become a global leader in this segment, I am happy to announce that Dr Andrew Palmer will be taking the position of non-executive chairman. With his impressive wealth of experience and innovative approach, I am confident that under Andy’s Chairmanship we will see Optare moving to a higher growth trajectory soon.”
John Fickling shared his thoughts, “I am delighted that Andy is joining Optare as non-executive Chairman. He has all the skills required to build Optare into a global leader in alternate propulsion. I am very proud of my association with the company thus far and am happy that it is now in the safest of hands.”
Dr. Palmer commented, “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.”
Optare is a leading British manufacturer of urban buses with a modern assembly facility on Sherburn, near Leeds, Yorkshire. The company employs more than 400 people. Its award-winning range of buses feature an integral design, zero emission electric drives and low emission efficient diesel drivetrains utilising the latest low carbon technology. The Optare Group Limited is part of Ashok Leyland, one of the world’s top three bus producers, and part of the Hinduja Group