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.
Over the last year of putting together our CNBC documentary, co-workers have asked me time and again about my favorite moments. When you watch "Saving GM" tonight, you will see some of them. But here are my top 3.
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz invited me to watch him test the E-Flex system behind the new Chevy Volt. Given the enthusiasm surrounding the Volt, I jumped at the opportunity. Would E-Flex deliver on the promise that's been built up surrounding GM's electric car? The answer: Yes.
We knew GM's second quarter earnings would be ugly, but I'm not sure many people expected this kind of number. Certainly Wall Street didn't since the estimate was for GM to lose $1.489 Billion. Turns out Gm's loss was 4 times worse: $6.3 Billion.
With GM on the verge of soon exporting Buick Enclaves to China, I'm reminded of the people who e-mail me on a regular basis about "China sucking the life out of the American automakers." That's a paraphrase, but you get the point.
In this world, I've long believed that people are either new car/truck buyers, used car/truck buyers, or someone who leases a vehicle. These days, those in that third category are feeling the heat. It's coming from higher interest rates, and being squeezed by the car/truck they are driving.
The signs are not good. From Chrysler's decision to stop leasing cars, to its recent decisions to cut staff and close plants, to its lack of major new product announcements, there is little of late inspiring confidence that this company can stage a comeback...
In the last three weeks, the message has been coming from a variety of sources, but it's generally been the same: forget about the auto industry rebounding anytime soon. In fact, some are saying things may get worse before they get better.
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.