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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Halfway through the month we're hearing more and more cautiously optimistic comments about the pace of sales. And almost all of them say the same thing: sales continue to pick up and people are increasingly coming into showrooms around the country.
Ford is thriving because it's becoming a more nimble, flexible auto maker. Nowhere is that more evident than in Ford's announcement Tuesday that its plant outside Detroit will be the first in the world to build standard internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles in one plant.
The statement was clear. What's unclear is what fallout, if any, will come from GM CEO Dan Akerson calling the Toyota Prius a "geek mobile." The Prius has been an unqualified hit for Toyota, and when was the last time GM introduced a "game changer." Which is why a lot of people are wondering what right Akerson has to call Prius owners geeks.
In the last 3 months as I've been covering a series of announcements by the Big 3 about their plans to hire workers and add shifts, I continually hear one comment from viewers and readers: "Are these jobs gonna stick or will these people be laid off in a few years?"
Ford will notch record profits, electric cars will be a niche product and Chrysler will re-assert itself.
After resisting for several weeks, Chrysler is expanding a recall of driver's side air bag inflators across the entire nation.
Combined new and used auto sales are likely to rise 8.3 percent to $1.1 trillion this year, according to TrueCar.
Tesla opened its first battery-swap station, to help eliminate range anxiety and inconvenience for owners.
The U.S. Treasury is winding down its auto industry recovery program by selling the last of its stake in Ally Financial.
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