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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Every once in a while, you go to an auto show, and the future of the industry crystallizes before your eyes... ow there is another wave of vehicles that will drive the auto industry over the next 10-15 years. They are the electric, plug-in hybrids, and extended range electric cars.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne candidly admits the troubled American auto maker was far weaker than expected when he finally took over as CEO. I caught up with him at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and he pulled no punches in assessing what he found at Chrysler when he became CEO.
Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is not a man to tiptoe into anything. When he leads his company into a new arena, he likes to go in charging. When Nissan stepped up to the U.S. full size pick-up truck market a few years back, he made a big splash in Detroit. Now, in Frankfurt, he's doing it again.
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.
Audi plans to increase spending on new models and plants to around $29 billion through 2019, stepping up competitions with BMW.
Not only are the retro-looking travel-trailers still being built by hand, but the company also can't keep up with demand.
The Tesla Roadster is getting a battery upgrade that will allow it to drive several hundred miles without recharging.
High-cost, short-term car title loans are leading people to take out risky lines of credit.
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