Phillip Joseph Snr retires from the business he started nearly 40 years ago.
2020 marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter at Disc Brakes Australia (DBA), one of the best-known household names in the Australian automotive aftermarket. Phillip Joseph Snr, known by many of his peers and colleagues as PJ, retired from the business that he started, shaped and grew for over 40 years.
With his name synonymous with the DBA brand, Phillip started his automotive career in 1973 with his father Oscar at Sydney Clutch and Brake Exchange in Waterloo. In 1980, he found himself confronted with a request for a replacement brake rotor for a 1967 HD/HR Holden, and so Phillip offered the owner a rotor, custom made by his father. While the castings had to be produced under difficult circumstances on general machinery in the automotive workshop, Phillip persisted and eventually made and sold his first aftermarket brake rotor in Australia. Although Oscar had the foresight to register the Disc Brakes name as early as 1963, it was not until the 1980s that Australia was added, as disc rotors became more commonplace and demand for replacement rotors started.
Since those days, DBA has been a family owned company with its head office, engineering and production facilities based in Sydney. Under Phillip’s leadership, DBA has consistently focused on staying at the forefront of innovation and product design by introducing patented technology, including the Kangaroo Paw ventilation design, DBA’s T2 and T3 slotted rotor design, En-shield coating, and DBA’s 4000 Series and 5000 Series two-piece rotors for high-performance applications.
Throughout his career, Phillip has led DBA to winning over 22 industry awards for excellence in manufacturing and in export. In recognition of his services to the industry, Phillip was inducted into the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association’s ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2011. Phillip has led numerous campaigns to improve safety standards and passionately supported the education of generations of mechanics through his work with the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME) and TAFE. A true car man, Phillip has worked closely with many motorsport outfits, whilst DBA ran its own Holden in the V8 Ute Racing Series. More recently, Phillip’s passion has been growing DBA’s export markets to over 30 countries in America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, focusing on a high-quality performance offering.
Phillip is retiring from DBA, which was acquired by Australian ASX-listed GUD Holdings in 2018, with a well-deserved sense of pride shared by his team of loyal staff, many of whom have accompanied him on the journey for many years. It is now upon the new team, including his son, Phillip Jnr, who assumed the position of General Manager Operations with the business a few years ago, to honour his legacy and lead DBA to reach new heights.