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.
Talk about a tough time to come out with a new truck. The economy is struggling, the housing market is in the tank, high gas prices have spooked buyers out buying big rigs, and there's little enthusiasm for new models (unless they're hybrids).
A friend of mine said something the other day that surprised me. He said nothing, and I mean nothing, gets him stoked about the latest models out on the road right now. I suspect it's because he is like many other people and is tired of seeing cars touted for their fuel efficiency more than anything else.
Much of Chryslers slump can be blamed on the fact trucks and SUVs have fallen out of favor because of high gas prices. And since Chrysler has the greatest exposure (percentage wise) to the so-called "gas-guzzlers" among the Big 3, it's suffering big time.
There's an interesting theory when it comes to the SUV market. It goes like this: now is the best time to buy an SUV because the used market has bottomed out and prices will soon start going up. The more I've heard this, the more I've talked with dealers. And you know what their reaction is? A good laugh.
See, even mighty Toyota Motor is shifting into a slower gear. This morning in Tokyo, the company gave its business outlook for 2009 and beyond. It was mixed -- which is not surprising, given the economy. Here's Toyota's plan to stay ahead.
Since I've started this blog I've have had people react strongly to some of the things I've said. But NOTHING compares to the e-mails I've read after advocating the need for Federal loans to help the Big 3 automakers re-tool and rebuild their operations.
They say timing is everything. For Honda nothing could be truer. In the next couple of weeks an updated version of the company's red-hot subcompact, The Fit, will start rolling into showrooms. Talk about having the right model in place at the right time.
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.
The resurgence of GM shares comes as the Federal government is about to finish selling its stake.