What has been chatted about during networking time at industry events this year became official.
Cox Automotive announced on Thursday that chief economist Tom Webb will retire on June 30. The company said his departure marks the end of an “illustrious” automotive industry career that spanned some four decades and earned Webb recognition as the pinnacle of automotive market intelligence and economic analysis.
“Tom has been an invaluable resource in the automotive industry for years, and his contributions are countless,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive. “While Tom will be missed by us and many in the industry, everyone at Cox Automotive wishes him all the best in his well-deserved retirement and next chapter. He will always be a big part of the Cox Automotive family.”
After joining Manheim as chief economist in 2000, Webb became a sought after expert, providing analysis of used-vehicle market activity for Cherokee Media Group and other outlets and firms based on data gathered from Manheim’s operating locations, associated businesses and industry research.
Among his many accomplishments, he authored the annual Manheim Used Car Market Report as well as developed and implemented the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, an innovative model considered in industry circles to be the premier indicator of used vehicle pricing trends.
“Like many others, I consider Tom one of the leading authorities and most credible voices in vehicle remarketing today,” said Janet Barnard, president of Inventory Solutions for Cox Automotive. “Our industry has relied on Tom’s insights into economic and remarketing trends to guide business decisions and help evolve the marketplace. We can’t thank Tom enough for all he’s done for Manheim, our clients and our industry.”
Prior to joining Manheim and Cox Automotive, Webb spent 26 years with the National Automobile Dealers Association as a spokesman and analyst for the nation’s franchised dealers. In 1999, Webb left NADA to become a senior manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ automotive practice, where he developed measures to assess efficiency levels in the retail distribution of vehicles.
“Sooner or later most people arrive at this point, but I can say with total conviction that I’ve had nothing less than a fascinating, hugely satisfying career,” said Webb, who has appeared multiple times at events hosted by Cherokee Media Group, including the National Remarketing Conference during Used Car Week.
“I had the privilege of serving some of the best dealers in the country during my time at NADA, but my fondest memories involve the many Manheim clients I’ve come to know during the last 17 years. Above all else, I’m forever grateful for all the relationships I forged over the years,” Webb went on to say.
Looking ahead, Webb plans to check off “bucket list” items, tackle home improvement projects and spend time with his eight grandchildren.
Cox Automotive said it will name its new chief economist in the coming weeks.