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‘Dragons’ Will Debate At The AASA Vision Conference

They will debate the future of the economy and the aftermarket and share their perspectives in these uncertain times.


The AASA Vision Conference session, “The 3 Dragons, Last Battle,” will showcase a lively debate featuring the investment community and industry analysts. These “dragons” will debate the future of the economy and the aftermarket and share their perspectives in these uncertain times. The conference, which was originally scheduled for March 26 in Rosemont, Illinois, will now take place virtually from March 25 – 27.

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Mark Barrott with Plante Moran, will lead the session. His debating “dragons” will include: Bill Strauss, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Simeon Gutman, Wall Street analyst with Morgan Stanley, and Brad Smith, VP of automotive market insights with Experian.

Barrott works in Plante Moran’s consulting practice helping automotive and mobility industry OEMs and suppliers to build strategies to adapt and respond to changing automotive market dynamics, develop new business models and identify organic and non-organic growth plans. He has advised many OEM and supplier senior client teams on a broad range of strategic initiatives including new market entry, strategic planning, global expansion, operating model design, supply chain, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate strategy development and implementation.


Strauss is a senior economist and economic advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which he joined in 1982. His chief responsibilities include analyzing the current performance of both the Midwest economy and the manufacturing sector for use in monetary policy. He organizes the Bank’s Economic Outlook Symposium and Automotive Outlook Symposium. In addition, he conducts industrial and manufacturing roundtables throughout the year.

Gutman is an executive director who covers the Retail Hardlines and Broadlines industries. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2014 and has more than 18 years of U.S. retail industry research experience. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Gutman covered Retail Hardlines at Credit Suisse and prior to that he covered retail stocks at Canaccord and Goldman Sachs. Gutman was ranked No. 3 in the 2019 and 2018 Institutional Investor All-America Research Polls. Gutman holds a BA in Economics from Brandeis University, an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business, and is a CFA charterholder.


Smith is VP of automotive market insights for Experian, responsible for the development, marketing and monetization of the business’ statistical and credit product offerings, including new and used registrations and loyalty, conquest and defection metrics, vehicles in operation and a full suite of credit and lending products specific to the automotive industry. These products serve OEMs, lenders, dealers and aftermarket professionals.

Additional information about the virtual AASA Vision Conference can be accessed by visiting



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