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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With GM on the verge of soon exporting Buick Enclaves to China, I'm reminded of the people who e-mail me on a regular basis about "China sucking the life out of the American automakers." That's a paraphrase, but you get the point.
In this world, I've long believed that people are either new car/truck buyers, used car/truck buyers, or someone who leases a vehicle. These days, those in that third category are feeling the heat. It's coming from higher interest rates, and being squeezed by the car/truck they are driving.
The signs are not good. From Chrysler's decision to stop leasing cars, to its recent decisions to cut staff and close plants, to its lack of major new product announcements, there is little of late inspiring confidence that this company can stage a comeback...
In the last three weeks, the message has been coming from a variety of sources, but it's generally been the same: forget about the auto industry rebounding anytime soon. In fact, some are saying things may get worse before they get better.
First, as oil has dropped like a rock, a lot of money has shifted, at least temporarily from commodities to stocks. Money that had to go someplace, and GM shares were a perfect buy. This stock, in my opinion, was way oversold when it dropped under $9 a share.
Over the last two months, I've heard one comment over and over about the dire straits Detroit's Big 3 find themselves in right now: Just go bankrupt and wipe the slate clean. This is one of those ideas that on paper makes sense on some level.
For the second time in five weeks, General Motors is making major cuts to give its business the breathing room it needs to hopefully turn things around. Unlike the last restructuring, five weeks ago, where GM cut truck plants and put HUMMER up for sale, these latest moves are about saving cash as soon as possible.
Global carmarkers will pull out all the stops at the Beijing auto show as they battle to win over Chinese buyers in the fiercely competitive market.
A US judge rejected a bid to compel GM to tell customers to stop driving millions of cars that have been recalled for defective ignition switches.
The recovery in the EU's car industry carried on through March, providing some much needed cheer for automakers.
A look at some of the freshest, coolest cars debuting at the New York International Auto Show.
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