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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Today, January auto sales will come in and they won't be pretty. In fact, for the big 3, they will be downright ugly. This is what happens when the auto companies kick the fleet sales habit. Wednesday Ford gave us a preview of what to expect saying january sales plunged 20%, with fleet sales crashing 40%, and daily rental sales falling 60% compared to January of last year. Don't cry for Ford. Getting off the Fleet fix is what the company wants, and frankly what it needs to do.
It's a statistic that will have Detroit buzzing. In January, the Detroit 3-formerly known as the big 3- sold 50.6% of the cars and trucks in the U.S. A record low. Think about that stat for a minute. We are on the verge of seeing Americans buy more foreign brand cars and trucks than domestic nameplates. Don't be surprised if that happens in February or March. The biggest reason for the fall-off in domestic sales is ...
I come back from a week on the slopes of Colorado and find three tidbits about the automakers that show even in the bitter cold and dreary days of January (except in the Rockies) ... there are some interesting stories.
It's strange to think an entry level car is an important model for a luxury car company, but the new C-class is just that for Mercedes Benz. When Mercedes unveiled the C-Class Thursday afternoon, the company touted better performance, more refinement, and a more aggressive look ... In other big automotive news Toyota is recalling more than 500,000 Tundra pick-ups and Sequoia SUV's due to steering problems that cause the vehicles to not stay in their lane.
The combination of higher gas prices and a slew of sharp, new pint sized cars helped drive American car buyers to make almost 1 out of every 3 cars bought last year a compact car. The question is whether that surge in sales will continue in '07 - especially if gas prices continue to fall.
The headlines crossed the wires hours apart, from different parts of the world, and but will do little to excite investors about auto stocks. A Toyota executive on Tuesday said the automaker would be open to forming an alliance with Ford to work on specific projects-such as sharing technology. Then last night, in a speech in Dearborn, Michigan, GM CEO Rick Wagoner said the world's largest automaker is open to pursuing a alliances with other automakers based on project cooperation. My reaction? ...
A weekend of playoff football was the perfect place for Toyota to show it's new Tundra's are every bit as tough as the full size pick-ups from Ford, GM, and Dodge. The real test is not only how many American truck buyers paid attention to the Toyota ads, but ultimately, how many people buy the new Tundra.
The headline on the Detroit News on Monday was big and bold. So bold, it caught my eye as I walked through the lobby of the hotel where I was staying. "China Is Coming" it read. The message was clear in a city that has watched thousands of jobs and billions of dollars disappear over the last 20 years because of foreign competition. If Michigan automakers thought the growth of Toyota, Honda and Hyundai were scary, they...
According to a recent survey, women are becoming more accustomed to rolling up their sleeves to try to get the best deal on a new car.
Tesla Motors has a "staggering" ability to ramp up production, said Stifel Nicolaus auto analyst James Albertine.
Car companies are resorting to tactics that some experts warn will lead to trouble down the road.
More than 30,000 Americans are killed in highway crashes each year, but experts believe that death toll could sink to zero.
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