Cox Automotive has named Jonathan Smoke as its new chief economist, where he will be responsible for leading the creating of an economic industry insights office, according to the company.

Smoke succeeds Tom Webb, who served as Cox Automotive's chief economist for over 16 years. Webb will retire on June 30.

“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," said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive. “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, a 20-year veteran of the housing industry, is joining Cox Automotive after most recently serving as the chief economist at Prior to that, he also served as chief economist for Hanley Wood, a media and market intelligence company.

To coincide with his new position at Cox Automotive, Smoke will be using a new twitter handle @SmokeonCars, where he will share his industry insights.

"I've spent my career working with data to improve the understanding of market trends and how demand and supply come together in purchases that represent the largest investments most consumers make," said Chief Economist Smoke. "I will help the company lead the industry with data-driven insights into what is happening and what the future holds. From wholesale to retail, new to used, manufacturer to dealer to consumer, I couldn't ask for a better venue for visibility into the automotive marketplace."

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet