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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When you have a car company going through the great unknown of bankruptcy, you take the good news when it pops up. For Chrysler, the good news is the way residual values for new Chrysler vehicles are not only holding up, but actually rebounding a bit from when the company first filed for bankruptcy. It is the kind of proof the supports the arguments from the White House and elsewhere that bankruptcy would help, not hurt, Chrysler and GM.
Hyundai is trying to ease consumer fears about rising gas prices by running a new promotion where buyers of most Hyundai models join a program where they never pay more than a $1.49 a gallon for the next year. As promotions go, I think it's a smart move. It will get Hyundai in the conversation with many buyers.
It's been a long time coming. Roughly two years if you're keeping score. That's the last time Ford was locked in as the #2 automaker in the U.S. Well, after the first six months of 2009 Ford as once again pulled ahead of Toyota in U.S. sales year-to-date.
If you have, you've probably noticed things are a little different. Those deals that we've seen for months (ok, in many cases years) offering huge discounts are harder and harder to find. It's a little early to say we are done with the days when the buyer could call the shot on most models. You still, have some leverage, but not as much as in the past.
It may not emerge from bankruptcy as quick as Chrysler, but GM is entering the stretch run, and can see the finish line. Tomorrow, the country's largest auto maker will be back in bankruptcy court to finalize plans to sell the "good assets" to a new GM that will emerge from bankruptcy with a clean balance sheet.
The folks at Car and Driver Magazine have now documented just dangerous it can be. Rigging a car with a red light to alert drivers when to brake, the magazine tested how long it takes to hit the brake when sober, when legally drunk at .08, when reading and e-mail, and when sending a text. The results are scary.
After resisting for several weeks, Chrysler is expanding a recall of driver's side air bag inflators across the entire nation.
Combined new and used auto sales are likely to rise 8.3 percent to $1.1 trillion this year, according to TrueCar.
Tesla opened its first battery-swap station, to help eliminate range anxiety and inconvenience for owners.
The U.S. Treasury is winding down its auto industry recovery program by selling the last of its stake in Ally Financial.
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