As Emmy Award-winning producer, host and creator of MotorWeek, television’s original and longest running automotive series, John Davis can be seen and heard throughout the U.S. on PBS broadcast and the Velocity cable networks. Through media appearances, Davis’ automotive industry expertise is tapped by commercial radio and television programs nationwide (CNN, Weekend Today and Live with Regis and Kelly) as key industry developments arise. A sought-after speaker, Davis frequently addresses automotive executives, consumer groups, automotive enthusiasts and students interested in the field.
As MotorWeek’s host for the show, now enjoying its 34th season, Davis has the opportunity to put all of the new car models through extensive road tests and to judge their practicality for buyers. He also acts as final editor on all of the new car road test segments and writes many of the test opinions as well as other portions of the program. MotorWeek offers him that rare chance to bring the enjoyment of a hobby to his professional life, and to use his broadcasting, engineering and analytical expertise to bring information and insight to those who enjoy cars.
As outreach, Davis and MotorWeek have worked in recent years with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to promote public awareness of alternative fuels. During 2004 and 2005, he served as spokesperson for North Carolina Department of Transportation’s initiative promoting annual automotive emissions inspections. In 2002, Davis was spokesperson for the “Smooth Operator” public awareness campaign on aggressive driving in the tri-state area of Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Davis is one of the founders of the North American Car & Truck of The Year Awards, the only independent journalistic automotive award in North America. He served on its executive board from 1994 to 2010. He is also one of the organizers and an original member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. Davis is a former president of the International Motor Press Association, the oldest and most prestigious organization of automotive journalists in North America.
Davis has received some of the highest awards in automotive journalism and television, including two Emmy® Awards. In 2007, he won an Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) National Capital Chesapeake Bay Region, and in 1998 from the NATAS Chicago-Midwest Chapter. Davis also received an International Automotive Media Award in 2005 from the International Society for Vehicle Preservation. He was honored with International Wheel Awards in 2004 and 2003, and two Golden Wheel Awards in 1999, including the grand award, from the Detroit Press Foundation which recognizes the best in automotive journalism.
A 1970 mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate of North Carolina State University, Davis also holds a master of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina. He was the 1969-1970 recipient of the W.D. Cartwright Memorial Engineering Scholarship and a member of the Pi Tau Sigma honorary scholastic fraternity. Prior to joining Maryland Public Television, Davis worked for the Wall Street brokerage firm of Kidder, Peabody and Company as a transportation analyst. Upon joining MPT, John served as Producer, Executive Producer, and finally Senior Executive Producer on the iconic PBS television series Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser for most of the show’s thirty year run.
Davis has owned a variety of high performance cars, including several vintage Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes, and a deTomaso Pantera.