MK&A partners have over 60 years of combined experience in this industry. Every decade sees advances in technology, changes in design, and new categories of vehicles as automakers and suppliers jockey for market share, revenues, and profits. The next decade will see further changes with new competitive opportunities and threats emerging. Our deep experience in the industry allows us to draw on a wide variety of resources in addition to our own knowledge and expertise to service clients with fresh and unique thinking ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
Maryann Keller, managing partner at Maryann Keller & Associates LLC, background includes over 40 years of automotive industry experience as follows:
- Maryann Keller founded Maryann Keller & Associates, LLC in 2001, after 28 years of automotive expertise as a Wall Street analyst. She became a sought-for analyst thanks to her strong understanding of the financial markets along with her expertise in the automotive sector. She previously served as Managing Partner at ING Furman Selz as lead auto industry analyst for 14 years following previous employment as an auto analyst with Kidder Peabody & Co. and PaineWebber.
- Ms. Keller has served as a Director of several companies over the last ten years. Currently, she serves on the Boards of Lee Automotive Group (privately held multi-line dealership group in Maine) and for DriveTime Group (the largest BHPH [buy here, pay here] automotive retailer in the USA based in Phoenix, AZ). She previously served as Director to Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for over ten years until it was acquired by Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE - HTZ) in 2012, Sonic Automotive (NYSE – SAH) 2001 to 2004, Falcon Financial from the time of its public offering until its acquisition by iStar Financial, and for Lithia Motors (NYSE – LAD) from 2005 to 2009.
- Ms. Keller worked as an adviser and participant to MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program which produced a landmark study in a 1984 book entitled The Future of the Automobile Industry. A second book, published four years later, The Machine that Changed the World, highlighted the differences in lean (Toyota) versus mass production (GM) manufacturing techniques. She has also written two books on the industry. Her first book, Rude Awakening: The Rise, Fall and Struggle to Recover at General Motors was published in 1989 which received the prestigious Eccles prize from Columbia University. Her second book, published in 1993, is entitled Collision: GM, Toyota, and Volkswagen and the Race to Own the Twenty-first Century.
- Ms. Keller served as a panel member in two major studies published by the National Research Council on Corporate Average Fuel Economy in 1992 and 2001 as well as on its study for Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems in 1994. In 2005, Royal Media published The Keller Report on Remarketing: A Definitive Guide for the Auto Industry. This report chronicled the transformation of the wholesale remarketing industry with a focus on how technology had and would facilitate the buying and selling of vehicles via electronic media.
- Known for her knowledge of this industry, Ms. Keller is sought for her expert opinion by the legal community with regard to litigation. She has served in this capacity for many high profile cases including Delphi’s bankruptcy litigation, first as a witness for the unsecured creditors and later in support of the original group of funding sponsors. In addition, she was retained by the State of California in defense of its emission regulations as rebuttal against other expert witnesses from certain automotive manufacturers, and for certain other litigation related to the industry.
- Ms. Keller is frequently invited to speak at corporate and dealer events. Besides these events, she has spoken three times before the Economic Club of Detroit, and has been a guest lecturer at MIT, Columbia, and New York University among others. She also contributes to a variety of industry publications as well as for The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s and wrote a column for Automotive Industries magazine for more than ten years. She also appears on numerous television and radio programs in North America, Europe, and Japan. This would include, among others, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, NPR, and CBN. She has appeared on Wall Street Week, Charlie Rose, and Nightline television programs.
- She served as Chairman of the Society of Automotive Analysts from 1994-1999. She was ranked as an All-Star analyst 12 times by Institutional Investor magazine. She received the Women’s Automotive Association International professional Achievement Award in 2000. She graduated from Rutgers with a B.S. and holds an MBA from Bernard Baruch (CUNY).
Kenneth A. Elias, a partner in the firm, also brings over 20 years of automotive experience plus additional experience as a corporate banker. Mr. Elias joined Maryann Keller & Associates, LLC in 2001.
- Mr. Elias previously was the Vice-President of the Automotive Services unit of priceline.com. He joined priceline.com having been recruited from his own internet start-up for advertising used vehicles available in dealer inventories in the Los Angeles region. In his capacity at priceline.com, Mr. Elias was instrumental in developing the automotive unit, negotiating a partnership with Ford Motor Company, and frequently represented the Automotive Services unit at various industry events.
- Mr. Elias has written a number of articles on the industry which have appeared in Barron's, Wall Street Journal, Dealer Magazine, and other industry related journals. He has appeared on CNN and is often sourced by journalists for commentary on the automotive industry.
- He owned and managed a used car dealership as a franchisee of Thrifty Car Sales.
- Mr. Elias formerly served on the Board of Directors of Dynacom, Inc, a multi-station radio broadcaster based in New Hampshire which was sold to a consolidator in 1999.
- Early in his career, Mr. Elias was a corporate banker with Bankers Trust Company in New York and Los Angeles where he worked on leveraged buyouts.
- He obtained his A.B. from Dartmouth College and acquired an M.S. from MIT.