George C. Peterson, President:
Mr. Peterson leads AutoPacific with more than thirty years of
experience in the automotive industry. Prior to forming AutoPacific, he served in product design
engineering, product planning and marketing positions at Ford Motor
Company. In 1982, Mr. Peterson joined Nissan Motor Corporation in the USA as Corporate Truck Product Planning Development Manager. From 1983
through 1985, Mr. Peterson was Vice President of Automotive Programs for
J.D. Power & Associates.
Mr. Peterson formed AutoPacific in1986 to provide primary research and consulting
services to the automotive industry. He launched AutoPacific with the Competitive Battleground
service that is known as the most comprehensive summary of future product development available for the United States automotive market. In 1993, Mr. Peterson designed and implemented AutoPacific's New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey
that provides the basis for understanding the automotive consumer in the United States, including what features they desire in their future vehicles.
AutoPacific pioneered automotive enthnographic research with deep dives into the lifestyles and vehicle use profiles of buyers in segments ranging from full-size pickup trucks to luxury cars to electric vehicles. Mr. Peterson also managed the development of AutoPacific's consultancies that were instrumental in defining sport utility vehicle evolution from traditional SUVs to crossover SUVs. At AutoPacific, he has moderated and analyzed over 3,000 focus groups since 1986.
Mr. Peterson is a widely respected automotive analyst using personal experience and access to AutoPacific's extensive customer data to interpret where the automotive industry is today and where it is going tomorrow.
Mr. Peterson has an engineering
undergraduate degree from Florida State University and an MBA in
marketing and finance from the University of Michigan.
Ed Kim, Vice President, Industry Analysis:
Ed is a veteran automotive industry expert who leads AutoPacific’s
operations. Well known in the industry, he serves as
one of AutoPacific’s primary experts on current automotive issues,
regularly quoted in the press and frequently appearing on national news
programs. He has developed one of the most accurate looks at the auto
industry’s future through both the North American Competitive
and Sales Forecast Service
products, both of which are
renowned in the business for their accuracy and insight.
beginning his role heading AutoPacific’s Industry Analysis activities, Ed served seven years at AutoPacific as product analyst, and later as
Product Analysis Manager, specializing in market research and consulting
projects relating to future automotive products and advanced
technologies. In this role, Ed moderated hundreds of successful focus
groups centered on those topics.
Prior to joining AutoPacific, Ed served as a manager in Hyundai Motor America's Advanced Product Development and Strategy area. In this
role, he used his expertise in social trending to increase company focus
on future consumer needs-based product concept development. His broad
understanding for automotive design, architecture, and ideation led to
groundbreaking cross-functional work with Hyundai’s design, engineering,
and marketing areas, resulting in numerous advanced and brand-extending
Over the years, Ed has also worked as an automotive journalist writing for several major automotive publications.
Ed holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside.
Daniel J. Hall, Vice President:
Since joining AutoPacific in 2000, Dan has designed and managed numerous custom research
projects, and plays a key role in the design of AutoPacific’s
annual Research Suite®
syndicated study. He has moderated expert groups,
one-on-one interviews, ethnographies, and consumer discussions. In
addition, he has managed and analyzed the results from multiple
quantitative product clinics.
joining AutoPacific, Dan served as the West Coast Manager for Racemark
International. While at Racemark, he created the concept for a vehicle
accessory patented by Racemark, and currently in use by BMW, Porsche and
MINI. Dan is a regular guest lecturer at Art Center's transportation
school in Pasadena and the Specialty Equipment Market Association
(SEMA). In addition he has lectured at Clemson University International
Center for Automotive Research, where AutoPacific is an annual Sponsor.
He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA and an MBA
from Pepperdine University.
Dave Sullivan, Manager, Product Analysis:
Dave is a true gear head and automotive expert. He was reared in an automotive family and lived in Europe as a teenager, compounding his love of the automotive industry here in the U.S. and abroad. While earning a B.B.A in management from Western Michigan University, Dave spent a summer working for Ford on the assembly line. When he wasn't studying he was helping to manage the WMU Motorsports team and participated in autocross/solo2 events. After graduation he joined the management team at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant and later transferred to the Michigan Truck Plant. In 2006 Dave transitioned to the supplier side of the industry as a sale account manager with Panasonic Automotive Systems. In this position he successfully won new business with various OEMs promoting electromechanical devices and active noise cancellation systems. Dave joined AutoPacific in 2010 to use his unique and expansive background in the automotive industry to head up the Competitive Battleground product. Dave has an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.
Carol Runkle, US Sales Forecast Service:
Carol has been with AutoPacific for 12 years managing the AutoPacific Sales Forecast Service activity. A self-confessed news junkie, she is always on the hunt for anything political, industrial or economical that could impact automotive sales. Carol has been surrounded by the automotive industry since birth. She experienced the heyday of the industry as the child of Chevrolet’s Chief Designer responsible for the fabled 50s and early 60s Chevys. This was followed by a move to Germany and graduation from General H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, Germany during the period that the Opel GT was developed. As a result, Carol has partnered on speeches and visuals for Classic Car presentations celebrating that time period. Carol earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Michigan.
Mary Beth Martin, Project Manager:
Mary Beth has over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry and over 25 years experience in market research. Prior to joining AutoPacific, Mary Beth worked for Isuzu Technical Center of America as a product analyst for their future automotive products. She has been with AutoPacific since 1992 and has authored numerous product consultancies, including AutoPacific’s Gen Y Consultancy.
Ms. Martin is an experienced research designer, leader, analyst, and focus group moderator. Internet research studies are a special emphasis. Mary Beth has undergraduate degree in Business from Western Illinois University and a MBA in Marketing from Bradley University (Peoria, IL).
Ty Michael, Research Analyst:
Ty is an experienced market research professional for the automotive industry. Since 2004, he has executed numerous qualitative and quantitative research projects for the automotive industry. Prior to joining AutoPacific, Ty served as Market Research Manager for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). While at SEMA, he was instrumental in providing research and data analysis for aftermarket companies as well as designing automotive enthusiast studies and authoring numerous syndicated market research reports. In addition, he pioneered SEMA's first monthly purchase-intention tracking study, resulting in more timely and relevant market data, highly sought after by SEMA members. Ty has an MBA from California State University, San Bernardino.
Deborah Grieb, Marketing Analyst:
Deborah is a highly experienced consumer research professional for the automotive industry. Since 1997, she has designed and advised on numerous consumer research projects and conducted consumer and vehicle analyses.
Prior to joining AutoPacific, Deborah served as Senior Marketing Specialist for Magna International’s Interiors and Exteriors Division. While at Magna, she played a key role in introducing market research and analysis to support company strategic goals, advanced technology development, and increased business. While in this role, she drove an increased focus on voice of the consumer to strategically align products and technologies with targeted programs. Deborah began her automotive-focused career as a contract Product Specialist for automotive special events, including auto shows, ride and drives and dealer training activities. Deborah holds a B.A. in English from Alma College.
Paul Waatti, Industry Analyst:
was born and raised in the suburbs of the “Motor City”, which resulted
in a passion for automobiles at a young age. Paul is a numbers guy at
heart, with an accounting and business administration background. He has
deep skill sets in managing data and sales forecasting, particularly in
the area of alternative powertrains.
currently applies his fresh perspective complemented by innovative
approaches in maintaining his key roles within AutoPacific. He serves as
Industry Analyst for AutoPacific’s Industry Analysis area, managing the
production of AutoPacific’s highly regarded Alternative Powertrain
Sales Forecast Service, as well as research and editorial content for
AutoPacific’s North American Competitive Battleground product.