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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After a year of going to auto shows that felt more like wakes, there's a sense the Frankfurt Auto Show starting Tuesday will bring optimism back to the industry. Call it premature. Call it wishful thinking. Call it whatever you like. But for those who relish auto shows because of the new models, styles, and trends they unveil, this could be the start of seeing the car business focus on cars.
Bob Lutz is swinging for the fences. Knowing he has to move quickly to change the perception of GM cars and trucks, the head marketing man is putting his money where his mouth is. General Motors is offering a 60 day money back guarantee on the company line-up of '09 and '10 models.
Conventional wisdom says the very well off go through recessions with little or no impact...This fall, conventional wisdom will be tested. There are a slew of new models either hitting showrooms or being introduced for hitting the street next year
For as long as I've been covering the auto industry, I've seen some variation of this story on a regular basis. Every so often, there is a survey that shows a growing percentage of car buyers would be willing to consider sliding behind the wheel of a Big 3 car. Despite these encouraging reports, the Big 3 market share continues to slide.
While most of us fixate upon GM gaining or losing market share here in the U.S., the company's success in China is a huge story that deserves more attention. Especially when you look at the latest report. In August, GM doubled sales in the country, selling more than 152,000. And this year GM's China sales are up 49% with 1.11 million vehicles sold.
As expected, several auto makers posted their best monthly sales of the year as the industry report August results. The sales pace is expected to be close to 15 million thanks to Cash for Clunkers bringing in throngs of buyers. But for individual auto makers the results were wildly different.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, last month introduced legislation that would require all states to adopt a texting ban for all drivers or face losing their federal highway grants. Today, in a new national survey from Nationwide Insurance, eight in 10 Americans say they support such a ban on texting while driving. The issue has drawn a great deal of support and opposition from both lobbyists, citizens and even here at CNBC
These are fun days at Ford. After staring bankruptcy in the eye and surviving a horrific slump in sales, the auto maker is rolling. Sure, it's not yet back in the black, but it has the big "MO". It's adding production, cutting losses, and is in the sweet spot of new product cadence with models like the Edge and Taurus bringing back buyers.
It sounds strange to say it, but it's true. The auto industry still has too many plants with the capacity to crank out millions more cars and trucks than needed.
Toyota last week previewed the updated Camry to the media, showing off its more sculpted and tech-savvy look.
The NHTSA said on Monday that certain car owners should "act immediately" to replace defective Takata airbags, affecting 4.7 million vehicles.
Toyota Motor on Monday recalled 247,000 vehicles in the U.S. because a Takata-made air bag may rupture.
The last remaining lab of "mad scientist" Nikola Tesla will open it doors to the public this summer after a fundraising campaign saved the site.
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