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
In the last 10 years, the Big 3 have struggled to come up with sedans to beat the Camry, Corolla, Civic and Altima. In fact, if you look at the top 10 best selling cars right now, only 4 are American models: The Ford Focus, Chevy Cobalt, Malibu and Impala.
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.
New Jersey became the third state to ban the company from selling vehicles directly to the public.
A new study shows the average household in 24 of America's 25 largest metropolitan areas cannot afford to pay for the average priced new car or truck.
Toyota Motor Corp said it will give its Japan-based workers their biggest pay raise in 21 years in the year starting in April.
Congress's investigation of a deadly defect in some GM cars widened, and a House committee ordered the automaker and a federal regulator to provide details on steps they took to get unsafe cars off the road.
Introducing Morning Squawk: CNBC's before the bell news roundup
Sign up to receive Morning Squawk in your inbox each weekday › Sample