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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On a regular basis, I hear from bloggers who think I'm pushing Toyota and would like nothing more than to see the Big 3 implode. In fact, I got an e-mail to that effect yesterday after blogging about the possibility of Chevy and Ford being outsold by the Toyota brand. For the record, Toyota has passed Ford, but still trails Chevy by a slight margin.
When the July auto sales come out later today, the most interesting numbers to watch may be those for Chevrolet and Toyota. Halfway through this year the two were neck and neck in the battle to be America's top selling brand. I know some of you will read this and think, "who cares?". Well, the long list of people who care stretches from Detroit to Tokyo, and for good reason.
When I sat down to talk with GM CEO Rick Wagoner this morning on "Squawk Box," I was expecting to see a man, beaming over the better than expected second quarter earnings. Instead, I saw the Chairman of a company who looked cautious. Why? Well, maybe it's because General Motors' glass is half full, and filling it up even more will be a challenge. Certainly the second half of this year will be tougher than the first half.
It sounds like a Hollywood script. Futuristic looking car generates the type of buzz needed to become a star: but it never shines as predicted, flames out amid scandal, and years later its devoted fans pine and plan for the icon's revival. It's only fitting I see this story in the Los Angeles Time this weekend. The star car in question is the DeLorean. The famed sports car that has achieved greater popularity since its limited production finished in 1982.
There's a new sheriff at Dodge, and for that matter Chrysler as well. But the new boss is actually one of the old bosses. Either way you look at it, the return of Wolfgang Bernhard to be chairman of Chrysler is important for a few reasons. First, he brings the kind of urgency Chrysler needs.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you--Ford DID post a profit of $750 million. That's right, the automaker that was sucking fumes earlier this year is now back in the black. Which brings up the question: Is this real? The answer is yes, but don't take this to mean Ford is out of the woods.
If you are a Mercedes Benz fan, you may have already tuned in to the latest attempt by the automaker to reach out to buyers. It's called Mercedes-Benz.tv. It's actually on the Mercedes Benz Web site www.mercedes-benz.tv and it is perhaps one of the best sites run by an automaker, when it comes to advancing the placement of a brand.
Today on Capitol Hill, GM will renew the auto industry's push to convince lawmakers that fuel efficient vehicles are on the way. Problem is, it may do little to slow down the CAFE express in congress. For years, the auto lobby was the strongest in D.C. and, for the most part, effectively limited Congress from passing aggressive fuel efficiency standards. But this time around, Congress, fueled by the impact of high gas prices, isn't going along for the ride.
Day one of the UAW contract talks kicked off with union leaders shaking hands with Chrysler executives at company headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Already I'm tiring of the news reports, talk shows, commentators and general public portraying these talks inaccurately. If I had a nickel for every time a talk show host blamed the rank and file guy at GM for all of that automakers problems, I'd be rich. So with that in mind, let's play fact or fiction.
As a man who spent his teenage years tooling around in my parent's big Buick, I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for big sedans. Doesn't mean I want one now, but I do like the romantic appeal of a big ol' car. So when I heard Chrysler is scrapping plans to further develop its Imperial large sedan, it made me wonder: is the big car dead?
A U.S. judge said plaintiffs could request documents in the GM ignition switches cases.
Studies have found that the average driver is overpaying by nearly $400. How to cut your bill.
General Motors will begin building a new, top-end Cadillac sedan late next year at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.
Chinese auto parts producer Wanxiang Group is accelerating the relaunch of Fisker's Karma hybrid luxury car.
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