Economists Are Cool Too with Charlie Chesbrough


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When we asked Charlie Chesbrough about the key economic indicators he’s watching…

We expected a completely different answer. Charlie, Senior Economist with Cox Automotive, pointed us to consumer-facing indicators. It was a real reality check moment, and a reminder of what this podcast is all about. It’s about getting everyone, from OEMs, dealers, industry partners, to press in and work together for the consumer’s sake. Charlie also tells us about his journey to the automotive industry and what he has coined “the iPhone-ification of automotive.”

What we talk about in this episode:
Intro with Michael Cirillo, Paul J Daly and Kyle Mountsier.

4:48 Charlie’s first job out of college was as a floor trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. He shares how it was everything you see in the movies, a phone headset on his head and a lot of yelling.

8:59 The iPhone-ification of automotive has become more and more prominent in the last few years, as manufacturers deliver over-the-air updates and changes to existing models to make them more appealing to customers.

13:42 The most important economic indicators are the ones that inform consumer sentiment. Charlie says to watch gas prices and interest rates.

“We've seen consumer cost confidence has fallen dramatically over the last few months as people get really concerned about inflation. And one thing we know about the US economy is nothing makes people feel worse than seeing high prices at the gas pump that just kills the American consumer. They hate it. It's right in their face every day.”

23:40 Another key indicator that Charlie is watching is the percentage of leasing in retail activity. Before March of 2020, leases accounted for 30% of retail activity. In June of 2022, that number was down to 17%.

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56 episodes