From a young age, Manfred Scharmach learned about work ethic and building a business from his father, Werner. “I started out playing around the repair shop on Saturdays,” recalled Scharmach. “As I got older, he put me to work with a broom and later washing cars.” The elder Scharmach, who was reported to be the best German car mechanic around, owned European Motor Service in Olympia. His reputation led to an invitation to become Olympia’s official BMW dealer and in 1968 the repair shop evolved to include a showroom.
Manfred continued learning from his father, working as a technician, in parts sales, and eventually vehicle sales, which is what he enjoyed most. “My dad and I got along great, and customers respected us because they recognized that we were technicians,” said Scharmach. The growing business relocated to Tacoma in 1979 and to its present location in Fife in 1988.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of BMW Northwest, making it one of the oldest BMW dealerships in the nation and the only original family-owned dealership remaining in Western Washington. The achievement was recently commemorated with the presentation of a Monument Award from BMW of North America. In addition, the dealership is celebrating by donating $50,000 to local non-profits chosen by BMW Northwest employees. The missions of a few of the recipient organizations include supporting military veterans, providing food for children and seniors, and sheltering homeless youth.
“I watched my father set an example for how to run a business, which centered on taking care of the customer,” reflected Scharmach. That focus remains strong today and is being passed on to a third generation. Scharmach’s daughter, Madeleine McEntyre, works on special projects for BMW Northwest and the family’s two MINI dealerships in Tacoma and Seattle.
Learn more about the history of BMW Northwest and the Scharmach family by visiting www.bmwnorthwest.com.
For more information:
4011 20th Street East
Tacoma, WA 98424