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.
Friday afternoon I walked into Cobo Hall in Detroit and there was a flurry of activity with cars being brought in, stages being set up, and elaborate new model introductions being rehearsed. Welcome to Detroit two days before the city's big auto show.
We won't see it here in the states anytime soon and there are still plenty of questions about how much of a market there is for this pint size car. Still, the new Nano by Tata is getting big buzz. The company unveiled the car yesterday in India, and since its reveal I've been inundated with questions from other bloggers...
Having covered and coming to know Alan Mulally during his time running Ford and previously as head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, I've come to expect him to be upbeat, even in the most dire of times. I've also been with him enough to know when his optimism turns to quiet confidence.
It's the grand daddy of American auto shows, so it's about time the Detroit Auto Show goes "Prime Time." It finally happens next week and we couldn't be happier that CNBC is the network raising the profile of the auto show.
Have you seen the Ford Explorer lately? The current model shows just how far the once vaunted SUV has plunged, while the new Explorer America Concept is a vision of where sport utilities and Ford may be headed in the future.
It still hasn't been built and it may not hit showrooms by the time people have been projecting. Yet, it's causing a puzzling amount of angst for investors and auto fans. I'm talking about the Chevy Volt, an electrically driven car GM is developing.
As I was digesting the latest auto sales numbers, I saw one bullet point cross the newswires that I keep thinking about. For the first time since 1931 Ford is not #2 in U.S. Auto Sales behind General Motors. The second place slot is now controlled by Toyota.
It was nowhere as close as the presidential races taking place in Iowa. Nor does it have the level of importance that goes with a presidential caucus. But when we asked you to let us know which automaker has the most to prove in 2007, you made it clear, by a long shot, that Ford is the automaker on the hot seat.
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.