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.
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Yes, gas prices are soaring, SUV values are tanking, and Detroit is bracing for the possibility of more job cuts. But there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the industry. Here are four:
An employee at a Chicago area auto dealer e-mailed that he has customers coming in with Escalades, Tahoes, Ram pick-ups and other large cars and trucks. He says those customers are often upside down on their loans and are surprised at how little they are getting offered for their ride.
In hybrids, Honda has announced that early next year it will roll out a lighter, more affordable 5 door hatchback that will look similar to the hydrogen fuel cell FCX Clarity model. The plan: annual sales 200,000 worldwide, including a 100,000 here in the U.S.
Calling all truck lovers. Yes, those of you who drive a pick-up every day to work and those of you who just feel at home driving a big ol' F-Series or Silverado. Here's a question to ponder: Whatever happened to the small pick-up? You know, one like Ford's Ranger, which provided a basic, if sometimes unspectacular ride.
A friend of mine said it best this weekend. He owns a Lincoln SUV that he wants to sell. Understandably, he's having trouble getting anything close to what he thinks he should. The frustration on his face was evident as he told me, "I guess I'll just take a bath on it."
For Ferrari fans, outside of a owning/driving a vintage model, the only thing better is climbing into a new model for the first time. This is the reason, many will be watching with great anticipation when Ferrari unveils its newest model, the California, at the Paris Auto Show in October.
Here's one for those of you who think auto manufacturers should be trying to build cars that get 100 mpg (and yes, there are a lot of you out there based on the e-mails I get from you). Tata Motors is the first mass-market automaker to enter the automotive X Prize competition...
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance kicks off this weekend, with avid collectors and first-time buyers.
After Jimmy Fallon said he's thinking about buying a truck, four automakers have reached out to sell him one.
Jaguar Land Rover has signed David Beckham as a brand ambassador for its Jaguar brand as it looks to sustain sales growth in China. The FT reports.
CEO Mary Barra's first crisis is how GM handled the recall of 1.37 million vehicles sold with a faulty ignition key.