BMW Northwest 50th Anniversary

 

IN THE NEWS: 


Werner Scharmach

Werner's story began when his parents fled Prussia in the fall of 1942 during WWII. Once the Scharmach family arrived in Germany, Werner attended mechanic school and passed his examination to become a mechanic at age 19.

At the age of 23 he met his first wife, Ida and was married. With Ida pregnant, they made plans to immigrate to Washington state. Through the U.S. Consulate, Werner heard from the Hope Lutheran Church, located in Tacoma, that his expertise in imported European cars was needed. Werner and his family arrived in Tacoma on December 7th, 1956. Once established in Tacoma, Werner found a job as a journeyman technician at Imported Motor Cars.

In 1957, Manfred Scharmach was born to Ida and Werner, their second child. Six years later Werner opened his own British car company, European Motor Service, located on Cherry street in Olympia. In 1968, Werner was approached by BMW to become their first retailer in western Washington. In 1979, he changed the business name to BMW Northwest and relocated the business from Olympia to Fife. In the early 2000s Werner's son Manfred took over management.

  

 

   


Manfred Scharmach

Manfred led the dealership's move to the I-5 corridor in Fife. "My dad and I got along great, and customers respected us because they recognized that we were technicians. That alone helped sell the product, we also had something else folks were quite interested in - great customer relations and service."

The Scharmach family started the BMW franchise with a store in Olympia. Before they even had a sign up they sold eight of the German luxury cars. BMW Northwest is now the only family owned BMW dealership in Western Washington and is proud to be one of the oldest BMW dealerships in the nation. 

Manfred says he owes it all to Werner's guidance. A natural leader, Manfred believes in the acronym of LIFE: loyalty, integrity, family and excellence.  

A 35 year resident of Pierce County, Manfred lives in Lakewood at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club with his wife Lori Scharmach.

Manfred and Lori are active in the community working with several charities including the Boys and Girls Club, Olive Crest and recently launched a scholarship program through LeMay's RPM Foundation for students of Clover Park Technical College automotive programs.