Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based at the network's Chicago bureau. He is also editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.
LeBeau has reported one-hour documentaries for the network, including "Dreamliner: Inside the World's Most Anticipated Airplane," "Ford: Rebuilding an American Icon" and "Saving General Motors" and "Failure to Recall: Investigating GM."
Prior to joining CNBC, LeBeau served as a media relations specialist for Van Kampen Funds in Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., and was instrumental in implementing an initiative to communicate the company's mutual fund and investment practices to the public and the press. While at Van Kampen, LeBeau held a Series 6 license.
Previously, he held general assignment reporting positions at KCNC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Denver, and KAKE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wichita, Kan. LeBeau began his career as a field producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where he wrote, produced and researched consumer stories. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism with a bachelor's degree in journalism and broadcasting.
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In recommending the complete ban on drivers using electronic devices (including use of hands free cell phones), the NTSB is not suggesting the cell phone signals of drivers be jammed. But the NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman says the cell phone industry should develop technology to help drivers keep from being distracted.
It has been five long years for Ford shareholders including the Ford family. For the first time since the third quarter of 2006, Ford is paying out a quarterly dividend.
Nothing goes up forever, certainly not in the stock market. But among the auto stocks, Tesla shares have been among the few that have motored higher as the sector has stalled this year. Just for comparison, year-to-date TSLA shares are up 14.5% while the S&P auto manufacturers index is down 35.3%.
As reports surface, and then Ford denies, that it's searching for the person who will ultimately replace CEO Alan Mulally, one thing is clear: This story will now overshadow everything else Ford is trying to do.
Bringing back name from the past is an well worn approach in the auto industry. After all, the instant name recognition is a huge boost in a business where brand awareness and acceptance is everything. So it's not surprising the higher ups at Chrysler are replacing the woeful Dodge Caliber with a new compact car that will be called the Dodge Dart.
It is the great mystery when buying a used car or truck. How much will you spend repairing a particular car that looks great on the outside, but may not be on the inside. And more importantly, how do you know certain 2009 model is more/less reliable than a different model from 2007.
Look for solid auto sales, with Ford, Jeep, Hyundai/Kia and Tesla in the spotlight.
If you happen to meet Bambi one night while driving on a dark road, here's a suggestion: Hit him.
German car maker Volkswagen AG will recall 80,000 cars from its luxury division Audi, with around 35,000 of the affected vehicles from China.
GoodYear tire company is recalling about 48,500 SUV tires after finding small cracks in treads.
Ford Motors said a charge related to its Venezuelan operations would reduce fourth-quarter profit attributable to the company by about $700 million.
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