April 18, 2017 – Get ready to jam to some tunes at the next Cox Automotive economic briefing…Seriously. The company announced this morning that DJ Smokey Smoke, also known as Jonathan Smoke, is succeeding long time automotive analyst Tom Webb as its chief economist.
If you haven’t heard of him, you will. Smoke, who moonlights turning the tables as DJ Smokey Smoke, is a newcomer to the automotive space having spent 21 years in the housing industry, most recently as Realtor.com’s chief economist.
Cox made its decision several weeks ago after being impressed with Smoke’s ability to create actionable insights and present them in an engaging manner. And that includes a history of incorporating musical playlists in his analysis of the housing market.
He was the only economist named to Inman News list of 21 Most Interesting People in Real Estate last year.
(As auto sales pull back and lenders become more disciplined with their lending practices, we can see the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling leading off Smoke’s first automotive playlist.)
“Jonathan will provide a fresh perspective as he offers analysis on the automotive industry and the economic and market trends that affect our clients’ business,” Sandy Schwartz, president, Cox Automotive said in the press release announcing the hire. “Many parallels exist between the automotive and real estate industries, and Jonathan is perfectly positioned to offer actionable intelligence that will benefit our clients.”
Smoke, who will report to Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence for Cox, also is an avid writer, having authored more than 150 articles. He blogs regularly and today assumes the twitter handle @SmokeonCars where he will share insights about the industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and religious studies from Rhodes College and a master’s degree in business from The University of Texas at Austin.
Cox also announced it has hired Charlie Chesbrough as senior economist and senior director of industry insights. Chesbrough most recently served as executive director and senior economist for Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). He was senior principal economist and director of industry analysis at IHS Automotive prior to joining OESA.
Chesbrough, who reports to Smoke, will assist in creating an economic industry insights office to provide industry-leading data and insights that empower its clients to thrive in the rapidly-changing automotive marketplace.