Joseph D. O'Brien Jr. was born into the automotive retail business; the son of Joseph D. O'Brien Sr., a Dodge/Plymouth dealer in Ottawa, IL. After briefly attending college, Joe O'Brien started his career in the automotive industry as a salesman and quickly advanced to the position of Used Car Manager, a point which began his evolution into management.
Soon, O'Brien branched out on his own and from 1971-1974, was the Vice President and General Manager of Illinois Valley VW/Audi/Mercedes-Benz in Peru, IL. After four years away from the family business, O'Brien re-joined his father as General Manager of J.D. O'Brien Olds Cadillac in Streator, IL.
In 1977, O.Brien once again branched out on his own and founded O'Brien Olds in Milwaukee, WI. Never losing his focus on family and home, O'Brien returned to Illinois in 1982 to purchase and assume ownership of his father's dealership, J.D. O'Brien Olds Cadillac Pontiac GMC in Streator.
In the mid-1980s, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) was building a state-of-the-art production plant in Bloomington-Normal, IL, to be known as Diamond Star Motors Corporation, a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler. Joe applied for and was awarded Mitsubishi's first dealership in Central Illinois. In 1987, Parkway Mitsubishi opened its doors in Normal, IL with O'Brien as the dealer principal. In that same year, the O'Brien Automotive Team was established with O'Brien heading the operations as its President and CEO.
Since its inception, the O'Brien Automotive Team has been dedicated to organizational excellence and is an automotive industry leader in the sales, service and leasing of 12 different automotive brands of cars, trucks, vans and SUVs at 8 dealerships at four locations in four states. The O'Brien Automotive Team also provides parts, service and bodywork.
O'Brien Certified Best Used Cars are pre-owned vehicles that must pass rigid standards before they are available for sale. Certified Best Used Cars are backed by a two-day money back offer, a two-week exchange policy, and a two-month/2,000 mile limited warranty - all unique to the automobile industry.
O'Brien Automotive Team locations are in four cities and four states and include Normal, IL, Ft. Myers, FL, Newnan, GA, and Shelbyville, KY. Automotive brands include Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Genesis, Toyota, Scion, Subaru, Mazda, and Ford.
Family is important to the O'Briens and is reflected in their involvement in the automotive retail industry. Along with family, employees are vital to O'Brien and the success of the O'Brien Automotive Team. One facet O'Brien learned early in his career is that the most valuable asset any business has is its employees. Many employees have been promoted within the organization, some to General Manager or Operating Partner positions. O'Brien holds true to a firm belief of treating people equally, holding them to their word, and rewarding them for their efforts and achievements.
Currently, the O'Brien Automotive Team employs some 500 people between all its locations in Illinois, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.