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.
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.
First, as oil has dropped like a rock, a lot of money has shifted, at least temporarily from commodities to stocks. Money that had to go someplace, and GM shares were a perfect buy. This stock, in my opinion, was way oversold when it dropped under $9 a share.
Over the last two months, I've heard one comment over and over about the dire straits Detroit's Big 3 find themselves in right now: Just go bankrupt and wipe the slate clean. This is one of those ideas that on paper makes sense on some level.
For the second time in five weeks, General Motors is making major cuts to give its business the breathing room it needs to hopefully turn things around. Unlike the last restructuring, five weeks ago, where GM cut truck plants and put HUMMER up for sale, these latest moves are about saving cash as soon as possible.
Well, I asked and you told me. When I asked earlier this week if you would buy a Volvo if the brand were sold to a Chinese automaker, and you answered emphatically, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
GM is dropping Chevy as its primary brand for mass-market vehicles in Europe and making Opel its mainstream line.
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.