Meet the AutoPacific Team
AutoPacific's management team draws from knowledge and experience developed while working at the industry's major manufacturers and suppliers including Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, Panasonic, Magna and SEMA. The ability to combine AutoPacific’s knowledge and experience and core competencies into custom consulting projects gives our clients an unsurpassed competitive edge.
GEORGE 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.
DAN 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 and analysis of AutoPacific’s annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Study. He has moderated expert groups, one-on-one interviews, ethnographies, and consumer discussions. Dan is a regular guest lecturer at Art Center's transportation school in Pasadena. In addition he has lectured at Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, and served on Panels for The Specialty Equipment Market Association and CALSTART. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
ED KIM: Vice President, Industry Analysis
Ed is a veteran automotive industry expert who leads AutoPacific’s Industry Analysis 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 Battleground and Sales Forecast Service products, both of which are renowned in the business for their accuracy and insight.
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. Over the years, Ed has also worked as an automotive journalist writing for several major automotive publications. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside.
CAROL RUNKLE: U.S. 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 30 years of experience in the automotive industry and over 35 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, managed proprietary studies, and is responsible for AutoPacific's Replacement Tire Brand Dynamics and Satisfaction Study.
Mary Beth 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 an MBA in Marketing from Bradley University (Peoria, IL).
TY MICHAEL: Research Analyst, Project Manager
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: Research Analyst
Deborah is an experienced consumer research professional for the automotive industry. Since joining AutoPacific in 2007, Deborah has designed and advised on numerous consumer research projects, including AutoPacific's Autonomous Driving Study, and regularly conducts both syndicated and proprietary consumer and vehicle analyses. Prior to joining AutoPacific, Deborah served as a Senior Marketing Specialist at Magna International. While at Magna, she played a key role in using 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 holds a B.A. in English from Alma College.
PAUL WAATTI: Industry Analyst:
Paul 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.
Paul 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.
Robby DeGraff: Industry Analyst:
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Robby DeGraff joined the AutoPacific Industry Analysis team in 2019 after combining nearly ten years of experience in automotive journalism with a lifelong passion for all-things cars. Robby brings a strong attentive focus to detail and an investigative desire to explore where the industry goes next, especially on the safety and electrification fronts. He holds a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago, and bylines at Cars.com, PickupTrucks.com and Hooniverse.com among other places. In his role as an Industry Analyst, Robby researches, updates, and creates editorial content for AutoPacific’s North American Competitive Battleground service.