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.
Follow Phil LeBeau on Twitter
While most of us wrapped 2006 with holiday parties and hopefully a few days off - hey, at least that's what I did last week - Chevy and Ford dealers finished a pitched battle to see which brand would wrap up the year as number one in total sales. The winner gets bragging rights as being America's favorite nameplate for cars and trucks. The loser will claim it doesn't matter. The truth is...
While the big 3 continue to struggle with costly (both in dollars and human terms) plant closings, the Japanese auto plants are surging. And the reason for this is America's growing appetite for fuel efficient vehicles. Which reinforces the hangover GM, Ford and Chrysler are feeling from years of focusing on SUV's and pick-up trucks. The latest number from the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association shows...
When I heard that Ford CEO Alan Mulally met earlier this month in Tokyo with Toyota CEO Fujio Cho, I wasn't surprised. Nor should Ford investors and fans of the #2 American automaker. This is yet another sign, Mulally is bound and determined to move his company into a more competitive position - even if that means learning from a fierce competitor that is about to pass Ford.
As soon as I started reporting on Thursday that Toyota is likely to replace General Motors in 2007 as the world's #1 automaker, the question came up: What's next for the Japanese automaker? Yes, in general terms the company is likely to continue gaining market share in the U.S. It's currently #3 with 15.3% market share behind ford 17.6% and GM 24.7%. And next year as Ford pulls back fleet sales to rental companies, Toyota is likely to become #2 in the U.S.
The days of the red-hot hybrid are over. You remember those days (last summer) when dealers couldn't keep hybrids in stock because high gas prices pressured nervous buyers to pony up for a fuel efficient car. Fast forward five months, and not only is it easier to find a hybrid, but you can even get a deal on one.
The next time someone says, "Boy that is one hot car!" Keep in mind, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the one independent way of measuring the hottest or fastest selling cars is J.D. Power's, "Hot off the Lot" list. And the latest list confirms what you might suspect: the most in demand models right now are made by...
Steve Miller, the CEO of bankrupt parts maker Delphi is stepping down as chief executive and leaving a position he used to force huge changes on the auto industry. Here in Detroit, there will no doubt be plenty of rank and file workers cheering Miller's departure. After all, he is the man who said point blank, "many of you will lose your jobs, and others will likely have their pay cut". Tough medicine no doubt.
The Mulally "re-mix" is starting to play out at Ford , and the new CEO isn't waiting long to send a message. The question is how much this management shake up will go in reviving ford. Long-time Ford employee Derrick Kuzak has been put in charge of global vehicle development after previously serving as Ford's VP of product development. The new job means Kuzak is the man...
I just saw a glimpse of Ford's product pipeline, and while there were a few exceptions, what I saw didn't do much to ease concerns that Ford's immediate future is weak. That doesn't mean you should write off Ford, it simply means, in my opinion, it may take a while for Ford to end it's 6 year sales slide.
Add Carlos Ghosn to the growing list of auto executives who are not only committed to developing eco-friendly vehicles, but are actually putting major R & D dollars behind the effort. Unfortunately for Nissan, the effort will be costlier, and take more time now that the GM alliance idea is dead.
Tesla shares are down since the market's recent high and one investment pro thinks it's a great time to buy. Here's why.
Stephen Hung, a luxury hotel entrepreneur, ordered 30 Rolls-Royces—the largest single order ever of Rolls-Royces, according to the company.
Self-driving cars need to get permits in California said the DMV.
Pack your grill and gear for pregame tailgating in these roomy vehicles.
Get the best of CNBC in your inbox