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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This is one of those weeks when the auto industry is slowly but surely showing that its darkest days have passed. The three year downturn in production is giving way to small, but important increases in the number of cars and trucks rolling off assembly lines.
That's the fuel economy GM expects the electric Chevy Volt to deliver when it comes out late next year. The company made the announcement this morning in Detroit and already skeptics, fans, and the general public are debating if the Volt's mega-fuel efficiency will be a "game changer" for the industry and General Motors.
One month after exiting bankruptcy and vowing to do business differently, GM is going on-line as it strives to improve its bottom line. The auto maker is teaming up with eBay to sell new cars on line in the state of California. It's a deal the two companies have been working on for a few months and it should be a win/win.
Automaker chief says Toyota is fast-tracking plans for an affordable sports car it will launch in the next few years and says US auto market will bounce back strong.
I can still remember the day a few years ago when Alan Mulally, recently installed as the Ford spacer CEO, told me his company was changing the name of the Ford 500 to Taurus. Along a few slight styling tweaks, the idea was to bring the Taurus name back and stoke some recognition with buyers who were writing off the blue oval.
When I first heard the $1 Billion set aside by the Federal government for the "Cash for Clunkers" program was about to run out, I chuckled and thought, "well that didn't take long." It also has brought up a question as to whether or not the quick evaporation of money means the public is ready to buy cars and trucks again, or if this is a one time "flash point" of demand sparked by Federal money. My gut says it's the latter.
Aston Martin has recalled 7,256 vehicles due to faulty electronic modules in their front seat heaters.
Porsche's supercar was recalled for repairs after reports of possible defects on its front axle, USA Today reports.
Somehow, a supercar doesn't seem quite so super when it's being called back for recall repairs.
Takata Corp, the air bag maker embroiled in millions of recalls worldwide, said its president Stefan Stocker would step down.
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