Fred Aikins is an automotive writer and consultant with 30+ years of experience in the automotive industry, having served at companies including Kia, Mazda and Subaru in product planning and product quality/development. He has also represented Mazda and Honda in public relations and advertising. Aikins was the senior product strategy manager on the original Kia Soul, as well as the Rio and Spectra/Forte product lines. Beyond his automotive work, Aikins is a car and truck enthusiast dating back to childhood, where he spent summers on his grandparents’ potato farm in northern California. In fact, his first vehicle was his grandfather’s 1959 GMC 100 pickup truck. He currently drives a 2017 Ford F-150 SuperCrew and has owned numerous trucks and SUVs from Ford, Chevrolet, Audi and BMW.