GOODWOOD, England -- After a share-price slump that has wiped out close to half its value since a listing last October, Aston Martin Lagonda is hoping that the informal setting of the Goodwood motor-racing gala has helped win over investors who thought they were buying into another Ferrari.
The Festival of Speed, a four-day celebration of sports and high-performance autos held in parkland near England's south coast, offered a chance to lay out the group's strategy in a less formal manner than the usual results presentations and slide shows, and with a lineup of the company's supercars to illustrate the point, CEO Andy Palmer said in an interview.
"We have a number of important people in the financial community coming, including bankers and investors," Palmer said before the event, which ended Sunday, adding that the focus would be on explaining his so-called Second-Century Plan, which calls for a capital-intensive rollout of seven new models over seven years.
Aston Martin is struggling to convince the market that it can match the success of Ferrari in making the leap from niche player to successful listed company as its stock languishes 45 percent below the price of last year's initial public offering.
While the group aims to double output to 14,000 autos by 2023, growth is effectively on hold until the DBX SUV debuts next year.
"The narrative of the plan, the DBX, de-risking and the luxury market is not a story you can tell through newspaper headlines, so we will take every opportunity, every touch point with investors," Palmer said, adding that the task has not been made any easier by the fact that the company is the first automaker to feature on Britain's benchmark FTSE-100 index in 30 years.
With its focus on sports and racing models, the Goodwood festival also provides a unique opportunity to showcase Aston Martin in an environment where its autos can demonstrate their prowess on the site's famous hill-climb track.
"It's very useful to be able to deliver the narrative with props -- the actual cars on the track," he said. "It's better than a traditional motor show in that we can demonstrate the dynamic credentials of our cars."
Palmer said the share price decline does not mean investors have lost confidence, and that the bulk of backers from the company's listing remain. Shorting of the stock has diminished and the share price should begin to benefit, he said, especially as the DBX moves toward its sales debut next year.