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Guest Speaker - European Summer Summit

Automotive Industry Research Specialist
Automotive Industry Research Specialist

Brett Smith


During his career, Brett’s research has spanned many critical aspects of the automotive industry. He actively researched vehicle and component manufacturing; materials forecasting; product development and analysis; supplier-manufacturer relations; technology development; facility location analysis; product launch strategy; and human resource and talent issues. Brett’s recent research and leadership activities have focused on the challenges and opportunities of implementing innovative technologies and services in the automotive industry. He regularly moderates and presents at conferences and industry events around the world as well as providing expert interviews to local, national, and global media.


In addition to his research capabilities, Brett has gained a strong reputation for leading successful working groups, roundtables, and conferences. From 2012-2018, he served as co-director of strategy for CAR Management Briefing Seminars. In that role, he guided strategic planning for the seminars and other CAR conference activities. Brett was also the chair of the Business of Plugging In, a plug in electric vehicle conference in Detroit, Michigan (2009-2011). Additionally, Brett was active as a labor educator for 15 years.


In April of 2023, after more than 34 years with the Center for Automotive Research, Brett retired from his position as a research fellow. He continues to research the automotive industry, and, as he has been throughout his career, is focused on bringing diverse stakeholders together to solve difficult challenges.


He received a B.S. in Economics and an M.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University and spent nearly 35 years studying the most dynamic consumer product and the industry that makes it.