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.
It came out left field. There I am Saturday morning at the gas station when the guy behind me said, "You keep saying GM's getting better. I'll believe it when I see it." At first I wasn't sure he was talking to me, but after a few seconds I asked him why he he doubts GM is coming back.
Need proof the Big 3 may be on the verge of doing some good, perhaps even great things? Check out the latest management coup with Ford hiring Jim Farley away from Toyota to become the U.S. automaker's main man running marketing and communications.
Over the last two months, I've heard roughly the same thing time and again from people in the auto industry and in Detroit. It's a variation of the general theme, "Chrysler, or more specifically it's owner Cerberus Capital, wants to break the UAW once and for all."
Within the next 24 hours, we will know if Chrysler and the UAW have worked out a new contract or if the union is on strike. Unlike the GM talks two weeks ago, it's a little tougher to handicap the odds of a strike at the country's #4 automaker.
Quick, when I mention Hyundai, what do you think? If it's along the lines of "well made cars for the middle and entry level markets" you are not alone. In fact, this reputation for solid but inexpensive cars has the Korean automaker at a crossroads.
Today in Germany, DaimlerChrysler is officially changing its name to Daimler AG. While this is a formality, this change made me realize just how much the German automaker has benefited from selling Chrysler. Yes, I know what you are gonna say: "They paid $38 Billion for Chrysler and sold it for $7 Billion. Where's the benefit?"
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.