Vehicle repair shop.
Brothers Duane and Doug Phillips grew up in Freeport Illinois, graduated high school in 1972 and 1974, and immediately moved to Rockford to enter the workforce at Park Motor Imports, the local Volkswagen dealership. Both completed Volkswagen’s three-year Apprenticeship Program while working full-time and servicing a wide range of German, Swedish, Asian, English, and American vehicles. By the late 1970s, they were employed as factory-trained technicians for Mercedes/Porsche/Audi/Jaguar at AutoWerks of Rockford. When ASE certification for Automotive Service Excellence became an industry standard, the Phillips brothers were among the first technicians in the city to become accredited.
On April 1, 1983, Duane and Doug formed their business partnership and Phillips Automotive Inc. opened in a rented 2500 square foot garage adjoining School Street Auto Body on the far west side of Rockford near Auburn High School. Their first years were challenging as they gradually built their customer base, hired more mechanics, and took out loans for hoists, wheel balancers, welding tools, alignment tools, and diagnostic equipment. They recall installing a waste-oil burner to heat their drafty shop because utility bills were so high during the early 1980s.
By 1990, both brothers had started families and realized that they were rapidly outgrowing their rented location. In 1992, the property was purchased near busy Mulford and East State Street, and the ground was broken in 1993 for a brand-new 5000 square foot custom-designed thatch opened its doors in the spring of 1994. Since then, Duane and Doug have continued to grow their skill sets and upgrade their computer systems to service the increasingly sophisticated next generation of vehicles on the road.