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.
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I can still remember the day a few years ago when Alan Mulally, recently installed as the Ford spacer CEO, told me his company was changing the name of the Ford 500 to Taurus. Along a few slight styling tweaks, the idea was to bring the Taurus name back and stoke some recognition with buyers who were writing off the blue oval.
When I first heard the $1 Billion set aside by the Federal government for the "Cash for Clunkers" program was about to run out, I chuckled and thought, "well that didn't take long." It also has brought up a question as to whether or not the quick evaporation of money means the public is ready to buy cars and trucks again, or if this is a one time "flash point" of demand sparked by Federal money. My gut says it's the latter.
With so many people holding onto their car or truck longer, it's only natural folks are asking if they have a car that qualifies for the Cash for Clunker program. The fact is, most of us will not qualify for the federal program which kicked off this weekend. That's primarily because of the restrictions Washington has placed on the program.
It's becoming a habit at Ford. Beating the street and forcing analysts to raise estimates for when the auto maker will get back in the black. The second quarter numbers released today are further proof the country's #2 car company will likely be turning a profit fairly soon.
Just two weeks after emerging from bankruptcy, GM has re-arranged its leaders and now finds itself with a full set of directors. Those moves, along with the formation of an executive committee put in place the people who will try to lead GM back to profitability.
The new man in charge of Toyota North America, Yoshi Inaba, is focused on getting the Japanese auto maker back on track in the states by making decisions faster and getting closer to the customer.
It's the one thing auto execs constantly worry about. Making sure the launch of a new or re-designed model hits the target. It sounds simple, but historically there are numerous cases where an auto maker puts a new car or truck in showrooms and it falls short of expectations. Sometimes woefully short.
Mustang, Challenger, Charger - and some high-powered imports - rule the 2014 NY Auto Show
Global carmarkers will pull out all the stops at the Beijing auto show as they battle to win over Chinese buyers in the fiercely competitive market.
A US judge rejected a bid to compel GM to tell customers to stop driving millions of cars that have been recalled for defective ignition switches.
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