Opening General Session

Johnathan Smoke

Jonathan Smoke – Chief Economist at Cox Automotive

Opening General Session

In this session, Jonathan Smoke will review the current state of the US and Texas economies and what the context will mean for the vehicle market through the rest of 2024 and next year. He will review the trends that directly impact vehicle demand, including population and job growth, inflation, consumer credit, and interest rates, and will share the current market conditions for both new and used cars. He will demonstrate how issues such as affordability, vehicle supply, loan rates, and consumer sentiment each affect the economic climate for independent dealers. He will review the latest market conditions for both new and used cars, including pricing, supply, and the industry shift to electrification. The session will close with forecasts and the key themes that will have the greatest impact on the automotive industry’s future.

Jonathan Smoke is Chief Economist & Economic Advisor for Cox Enterprises. As a senior vice president, Smoke leads the organization’s effort to track and forecast key aspects of the economic environment in which Cox Enterprises companies compete, including macro-economic trends, regional market variation, consumer segments and buying power, housing, and transportation.

In addition to being a key advisor to the Cox Communications and Cox Enterprises executive teams, Smoke serves as the Chief Economist for Cox Automotive and is a member of the automotive leadership team. Smoke leads the company’s effort in developing deep expertise in all aspects of the automotive transportation industry, the economic factors impacting U.S. vehicle buyers and the automotive division’s many business clients and partners.

For more than three decades, 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 Realtor.com’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 New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, and CNBC. Follow him on X @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.