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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Remember back in 2005 and 2006 when Mercedes was making plans to bring the smart car to the U.S.? The car was a hit in Europe and it became fashionable for people to say, "Why don't they bring that car over to the U.S.? there are tons of people who want a compact car like that."
Two years after seeing their company slide into bankruptcy, GM hourly workers will get the biggest bonus the company has ever paid out to its line workers. While the final payout will be announced later this month when GM reports fourth quarter earnings, but the bonuses will be at least $4,000 per worker.
When Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne walked into the Chicago Auto Show, he was smiling and shaking hands with Chrysler employees and carrying a confidence we haven't seen at Chrysler in years. Amazing how one ad in the Super Bowl can change the atmosphere at a company. You can feel the change at Chrysler. You can see it on face of Marchionne.
After spending almost a year investigating the cause of Toyota cars and trucks suddenly speeding up, the Department of Transportation found no electronic problems in Toyota vehicles that could have caused unintended acceleration. For Toyota it is vindication. Vindication at a steep price, but vindication just the same.
Shortly after Chrysler ran its 2:00 commercial in the Super Bowl, Twitter and Facebook lit up with applause for the American automaker. There was no shortage of people praising the spot featuring images of Detroit, its famed native son Eminem, and a new Chrysler tag line, "Imported from Detroit."
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson calls it the "freak out point." It's the price for a gallon of gas when consumers will freak out and make a conscious decision to change their driving habits, the type of car or truck they will buy, or perhaps decide not to buy at all.
It's a common complaint, I hear and yes, have even lodged myself: red light cameras are ridiculous and a tool cities use just to rake in money through tickets. We like to portray ourselves as victims. After all, our driving is never the problem right?
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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