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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Halfway through the year, it's becoming clear American auto buyers have re-discovered the two biggest American auto brands.
With Toyota reportedly on the cusp of another major recall, this time for faulty engines in 170,000 Lexus models worldwide, it's clear this company is far from getting out of the woods.
First of all, let's be clear about June auto sales. Yes, everyone will be up compared to June of last year. Big deal. June of last year the economy was even further in the tank, GM and Chrysler were in bankruptcy, and the auto industry was gasping.
Tesla is going public today under the symbol TSLA. To say this IPO has gone better than expected would be an understatement. It's pricing at $17 a share, above the range originally set out, and with the number of shares being offered expanding to 13.3 million, this IPO will raise more than $225 million dollars for Tesla.
Tesla, the high-end electric carmaker has expanded the number of shares it will offer when its stock starts trading this week. The company will now issue 20 % more stock at a price of $14-16 a share. All part of the Tesla plan to raise about $200 million.
Next week the country's largest automaker and one its smallest will both be scrutinized by Wall Street and investors.
China is going through the labor unrest and growing pains that you would expect in a country that pass up the U.S. in auto sales last year. In the last two months there have been strikes and labor unrest at different auto plants in China. Compared to some of the doozies in the past here in the U.S., these are mild. But I suspect this is just the beginning.
For years people have derisively said, "oh that's a chick car" when describing a certain model supposedly favored by women. Whenever I would hear people in the auto industry use this term, I'd think to myself, "Talk about making a broad, often incorrect generalization."
It's ok to admit it. It's ok to say that you are skeptical of the J.D. Power report that the Big 3 have passed up foreign automakers when it comes to quality. There are more than a few of you out there who e-mailed me last week to say that you aren't buying it.
There are reports out of Japan that Toyota is setting a target of cutting prices 30% by 2013 in a strategy shift designed to keep up with hard charging competitors Volkswagen and Hyundai.
After resisting for several weeks, Chrysler is expanding a recall of driver's side air bag inflators across the entire nation.
Combined new and used auto sales are likely to rise 8.3 percent to $1.1 trillion this year, according to TrueCar.
Tesla opened its first battery-swap station, to help eliminate range anxiety and inconvenience for owners.
The U.S. Treasury is winding down its auto industry recovery program by selling the last of its stake in Ally Financial.
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