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.
Let's get some things straight. As I write this blog, I'm fully aware some of you will scoff at the idea of the Federal government offering billions of dollars to the Big 3 in restructuring loans. I know some of you will say, "Don't give them a bail out. Let'em go under."
Don't look now, but something is coming back: deals. Not just little ones. Pretty decent deals. GM, Toyota and Mazda are currently running some of the more prominent marketing campaigns. But make no mistake, almost all the automakers are throwing more money and more generous financing terms behind their new models.
Here's a novel idea. Let's take the people who actually work at a car company and put them behind the wheel of the models crucial to that company's future. Ford Motor is starting to do that, and it's probably one of the smartest moves this company has ever made.
The latest U. of Michigan survey on customer satisfaction with automakers are a bit perplexing. On one hand, they show there's a wider gap between the Big 3 and their foreign rivals. On the other, these results fly in the face of numerous other studies that show the Big 3 edging closer to competitors when it comes to quality and reliability. Who's right? Both, actually.
When a Honda executive said last week that his company plans to roll out a "Prius Fighter" hybrid next spring, it marked the latest proclamation from an automaker that it had a model to beat the king of the hybrids. And once again I'm curious if this challenge will truly be a challenge to Toyota.
The report today from the Detroit News that Ford is preparing to stop building the Mercury Sable and Ford Taurus X crossover is one of those stories I read and immediately said, "It's about time". In my opinion, these are the types of moves Ford needs to make quickly if it's going to jump start sales with fresh, attractive models.
When Toyota reported a drop in fiscal first quarter profits of 28%, it immediately sparked a slew of e-mails from those of you who think I "favor" the Japanese automaker. In general the comments say, "Take that Toyota Phil, even your beloved auto company is hurting."
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.