Auto Lending Economic Outlook & Optimization/Risk Mitigation Strategies for the Way Forward | June 18 ,2020

Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke returns to keep lenders apprised of market conditions and financial predictions — particularly with off-lease inventory expected to surge and used retail to draw its own pandemic curve. Joining Jonathan are Cox Automotive senior leaders Will Blackson and Sarah Hunsicker, who will cover state legislation and DMV statuses impacting lien and title, along with new insights and strategic thinking around all facets of loan lifecycle operations, including risk mitigation, portfolio management & securitization, and more.

Presentation Slides (PDF)

Presenters: Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist, Cox Automotive


Sarah Hunsicker, Director Government Affairs, Dealertrack Registration & Titling Solutions


Will Blackson, AVP Lender Solutions Cox Automotive

Jonathan Smoke serves as Vice President & Chief Economist, leading Cox Automotive’s economic industry insights team, which leverages data to expand Cox Automotive’s deep expertise in all aspects of the automotive industry. The industry insights team tracks 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, and Dealertrack.

For more than 23 years, Jonathan 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, he 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.


Jonathan is an executive member of the board for the Atlanta Economics Club and an active member of the Harvard Industrial Economists and the National Association of Business Economists. He has spoken at major 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.


Jonathan 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.

Sarah Hunsicker, Director Government Affairs, Dealertrack Registration & Titling Solutions


As the Director of Government Affairs for Dealertrack Registration and Titling Solutions (RTS) and Collateral Management Services (CMS) Sarah Hunsicker advocates for the expansion of electronic motor vehicle initiatives, specifically Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) programs at the state level. In her role she meets regularly with state motor vehicle agency officials and legislators to promote sensible electronic initiatives in the motor vehicle registration, lien and titling space. In her 9-year tenure Sarah has provided guidance to numerous states, including the Michigan Secretary of State as they transitioned from manual registration and tiling processes to more automation.

Will Blackson, AVP Lender Solutions Cox Automotive



As Associate Vice President Lender Solutions, Will leads the lender sales and account management team for all services related to F&I and Digital Retailing as they pertain to the Cox Automotive lender and strategic partners.

Previously, Will started his tenure at Cox Automotive focusing on developing the network of aftermarket providers and partners. He recently served as Director of Corporate Strategy and Execution on the Cox Automotive corporate strategy team — most recently tasked with execution of the Cox Automotive omnichannel strategy, leveraging value added networks and APIs to build out valuable partnerships for Cox Automotive and our business partners.

Prior to joining Cox Enterprises, Will held positions at Comerica, Ally Bank, and Open Dealer Exchange, LLC. He has lived in the Detroit area for 20 years, and in his leisure time he is most likely to be found spending time with his family, working and/or playing outdoors, and generally enjoying time with good people.