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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Here's something that should make you realize what crazy times we are living in: 9-year auto loans are popping up around the country. That's right, it wasn't a typo. Nine years! 108 months! Almost a third of the time used to pay off a conventional mortgage!
Amid the gloomy comments from auto executives at the Geneva Motor Show, the unveilings of several important new models are being overshadowed. Take the new Ford Fiesta. This compact car is being sold in Europe, but the design cues and architecture behind this car will be the underpinnings of compact cars the automaker will roll out in the U.S. in the future.
Later today, the February auto sales will come out. By all accounts, the numbers will likely be awful. Not just lower, but in the words of one industry veteran, "terrible." We'll have to wait and see what the actual numbers are, but I won't be surprised to see industry sales down 10 percent.
They've done it again. The Asian automakers, especially the Japanese dominate the latest Consumer Reports survey (subscription needed for full reports) on auto reliability. Of the 33 models CR picked to be "most reliable," 23 are from Japanese automakers. Some, like the Toyota Prius, we've come to expect to see on the list.
Later today we'll find out if the time, money and effort the Big 3 have put into building more reliable cars and trucks has paid off. Consumer Reports releases its 2008 auto reliability survey and the question for many is: Are the Big 3 finally getting their act together?
The newest crash test study of mid-size SUVs has both good and bad news for those who drive these big rigs. And for some HUMMER owners, you have to be wondering if the "safe as a tank" perception some have of your ride is truly deserving.
If you've read this blog for some time you know that my grammar (is it it's or its?) is spotty at times, and my use of words is sometimes off. OK way off. Last week, I used the phrase, "it peaked the interest,..", when it should have been "it piqued the interest,...". Several of you caught my screw-up and let me know about it. Guilty as charged.
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.
Chrysler is recalling nearly 257,000 older Ram pickup trucks because the rear axle can seize or the drive shaft can fall off.
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