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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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.
For the first time ever, the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study has found America's automakers build new models with fewer problems than their foreign competitors.
Despite a woeful track record in the U.S. In the last ten years, they haven't given up on winning over Americans. In fact, the folks at VW believe they can eventually sell a million vehicles here in the U.S. It's an ambitious goal for a company that sold roughly 300,000 (including it's luxury line Audi) here last year.
When Ford CEO Alan Mulally joined me on "Squawk Box" Friday for an extended conversation about where the Blue Oval is today and where it's headed, he didn't shy away from proclaiming the Lincoln brand must provide a true world class experience for buyers.
You'd think by now the message would be clear: Ed Whitacre Jr. is not going to stop making changes. Once again, he shook up the management at the automaker. And once again, people are asking why Whitacre keeps moving executives around—and whether or not he knows what he's doing.
There has long been a belief in the auto industry that as pick-up truck sales go, so goes the broader economy. After all, as business and spending picks up, the folks who drive pickups (contractors, builders, small business operators) are likely to buys a new work truck. And for the most part, the historical evidence points to truck sales and housing starts trending up or down together.
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