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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With this being the start of "Green Week" here on the networks of NBC, it's only natural the guy who covers the one industry responsible for a good chunk of the world's pollution, look at the great hope for reducing emissions in automobiles: Hydrogen.
Shortly after I blogged yesterday about Chrysler cutting four slow-selling models (Pacifica, Crossfire, convertible PT Cruiser, and Dodge Magnum) as part of its effort to stem losses, I heard from people saddened to see these models go. Earl wrote, "Too bad about the Magnum. I have one and it is a great car. Much better than my old Five Series BMW! I would buy another in a second."
As expected, Chrysler is wasting little time in downsizing both its work force and struggling line-up of vehicles. Today, the automaker announced it will cut another 8,500 to 10,000 jobs, including 1,000 white collar employees. This round of downsizing is on top of the 13,000 job cuts announced earlier this year as part of the plan to get Chrysler back in the black.
If you go to as many auto shows as I do, you quickly realize that there are only a few times you see a car, truck or SUV that is truly cool. Once again, spending a couple days in Las Vegas convinced me that the WOW factor is at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association) convention.
OK, at first blush Jay Leno and rapper 50 cent might seem like a strange combination. But for General Motors this odd couple is the star power the automaker needs to draw attention to specialty auto parts. Last night here in Las Vegas, Leno unveiled a Corvette Z06 modified for racing performance even when running on E85 ethanol.
The latest reports in Automotive News about strong sales in Eastern Europe helping Ford and Toyota meet sales goals, confirms something I've been hearing for some time from Big 3 execs. Don't focus so much on the U.S. and lose sight of the real battle over global sales.
One of the great things about covering the auto beat is seeing the passion people have for cars, trucks, going fast, customizing their rides, etc. I always tell people, "if you wanna see passion in motion, spend a few days tracking people who love their cars."
Wow. A car company signs up Bob Dylan to pitch cars, I blog about it, and it's clear some of you do not like the idea of Dylan and Caddy riding together. In Tuesday's blog I talked about Cadillac signing a deal with Bob Dylan that includes the rock and folk legend pitching Cadillac's.
How much pull does Bob Dylan still have with baby boomers? Cadillac is banking on quite a bit. The rock and folk singing legend begins a partnership with Cadillac that kicks off tomorrow with Dylan playing and discussing songs about Cadillac during his Theme Time Radio Hour on XM satellite radio.
I watched the latest vote results from rank and file United Auto Workers at Chrysler and thought to myself, "what do these people want?" Through the weekend an estimated 11,000 UAW have rejected the tentative contract the union agreed to with Chrysler. Some 6,000 have voted in favor of it.
Sales and profits from large SUVs are boosting companies such as General Motors and Ford.
Evenflo is recalling more than 202,000 rear-facing infant seats because the buckles can become difficult to unlatch.
Ford CEO Mark Fields says the company is considering a Tesla-style high performance electric vehicle, USA Today reports.
Ford Motor delivered quarterly earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations on Friday, but revenue was light.
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