Philip J. 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."
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.
Follow Phil LeBeau on Twitter @Lebeaucarnews.
As we move closer to seeing the Treasury Department approving $5-10 billion in federal loans to back a merger of GM and Chrysler, I've been hit with a wave of comments from readers, viewers, and others that basically amounts to this: We should let GM go bankrupt because they aren't worth saving.
Washington doesn't have much of a choice but to give GM the money. If it doesn't, there is a very real possibility Chrysler and GM slide toward bankruptcy.
This week is not only the last one of the month. It's also the week that could determine if GM holds on to the top spot in monthly auto sales in the U.S.
Whether it's the Wall Street Journal speculating about Cerberus Capital pushing for "fresh air" in the management at GM, or the steady flow of e-mails I get from people saying "Wagoner must go!", there is no shortage of people suggesting GM's leadership needs to change.
This morning GM and Chrysler announced a fresh round of job cuts due to the stunning drop in business and their balance sheets.
As discussions between GM and Chrysler heat up, there's a steady flow of questions about road blocks that could stop this merger of American auto giants. Any other time, I'd agree with some of the points being raised. But given the economy and the weakened state of the auto industry, I think few of these are going to stop GM from acquiring Chrysler- IF the country's largest automaker decides it wants this deal.
After a week of stating in this blog and on the air that I don't see the logic behind a combination of GM and Chrysler, I took the last two days to ask people familiar with the talks and inside the auto industry if I'm missing the boat.
Like a python squeezing the air out of its victim, Toyota is in the midst of a move that will further hurt the Big 3.
GM is dropping Chevy as its primary brand for mass-market vehicles in Europe and making Opel its mainstream line.
And Ford is targeting the global market: The newest Mustang was unveiled in six cities around the world on Thursday.
Auto loan interest rates hit their lowest level in at least six years, and Americans took out a record number of loans.
Because of a surge in business from Black Friday, the auto industry posted its best monthly sales since February 2007.