Keynoter – Tuesday General Session

Jonathan Smoke

Economic and Automotive Industry Update with a Focus on the Texas Market

Tuesday General Session

In this session, Jonathan will take a look at the state of the US and Texas economy, including the risk of recession and how that relates to job creation. He will also track a few trends that directly impact vehicle sales and will share the current market conditions for both new and used cars. He will demonstrate how issues such as affordability, gas prices, loan rates, and consumer sentiment each affect the economic climate for independent dealers. He will then share current market conditions for both new and used cars, including pricing, inventory, and supply issues and discuss industry disruptors and risks. The session will close with educated projections and an overview of the conditions and challenges that will impact the automotive industry’s future.

Smoke leads Cox Automotive’s economic industry insights team, which tracks the economy, new and used vehicle sales, supply, prices, retail and fleet demand, consumer credit and auto financing, and dealer sentiment to understand the key trends impacting both the wholesale and retail markets for vehicles informed by the proprietary data from all of the company’s businesses and platforms including Manheim, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, Xtime, and Dealertrack. 

For more than 28 years, Smoke has focused on translating data and trends into relevant, actionable insights for the industries that represent the biggest purchases that consumers make in their lifetimes: real estate and automotive. 

Prior to joining Cox Automotive, Smoke served as’s chief economist. Before that, he was the chief economist for Hanley Wood, a media and market intelligence company, and also served in a variety of roles at Beazer Homes, including senior vice president of strategy and innovation. 

Smoke is an executive member of the board for the Atlanta Economics Club and is a member of the Conference of Business Economists, Harvard Industrial Economists and the National Association of Business Economists.  He speaks at major auto industry conferences such as the NADA and NIADA conventions, Automotive News World Congress, and Used Car Week. His views on the economy and the auto industry are featured regularly in industry and national news outlets such as Automotive News, Auto Remarketing, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, and CNBC. Follow him on Twitter @SmokeonCars to keep up with the latest industry insights.  

Smoke 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.