Owner and operator of CMW, Ron Inchausti is a Huntington Beach local and has been working with his hands since taking apart a bicycle back in 1976 at the age of 8. Later, as a student at Marina High School, bicycles became mopeds and then cars. Since then, the vehicles became more difficult and more expensive to fix, but soon it became clear that cars were going to be a passion of his.
In 1996, while pit crewing for a race at Long Beach Grand Prix, the BMW bug bit him. The pair of BMW M5s took first and second as the poor 500hp supercharged Mustang he was helping with finished 8th. After investigation in the pits, Ron discovered that the M5s were just 6 cylinders and normally aspirated. Shortly afterwards Ron purchased his first BMW, a 1988 750il. Since then he has purchased many cars, but all were BMWs.
Ron worked on BMWs at two independent shops in Huntington Beach before going to Crevier BMW in Santa Ana. In May of ’05, Ron left the dealer and started CMW. Two months later his first child (Bella) was born. Ron is a new enthusiast by some standards, but all the years in the import and domestic trenches has given him a perspective that most owners or technicians don’t have.
“I truly believe BMW builds the very best cars. I have seen the others inside and out, and my vehicles will always have a spinning prop (or MINI wings) on the hood.” Ron is a master certified technician with factory BMW training and a very positive attitude.
Andre – Technician
Andre Nguyen emigrated from Vietnam in 1980, leaving a thriving farm owned by his family for generations because the “VC” was going to take it from them. After a failed defection attempt, he spent three months in a prison cell so small that standing was impossible and help was needed to walk afterwards.
During his second defection attempt, he found himself leaving Vietnam in the dark near Saigon, at which time he became captain of a 27 foot “long boat” (by default, since he was the only one who could keep the one-cylinder engine running). The boat, designed to accommodate 8-10 people, was filled with 92 defectors (even whole families). After 5 nights and 4 days at sea, an oil tanker traveling to Malaysia spotted the barely floating vessel and its cargo of “boat people.” After spending three months on the island of Pulau Pinang near Malaysia, he was finally able to fly to America, were he has sponsored nearly all of his family to America and raised 4 boys and even earned citizenship in 2002.
Andre is a senior technician and very knowledgeable about BMW vehicles. He always has a smile and is a great person to be around. His love for America and his story of freedom should be admired by all.
Brandon – Technician
Brandon Lavoie has been with us since 2006, but getting a bio from him was like pulling teeth. After two years we have poked and prodded for info and finally have enough material.
Brandon Lavoie grew up in Orange County surrounded by BMWs, having a good-sized family (two sisters, an older brother, and both parents) all having BMWs. He has been wrenching on cars since before high school when he got his first BMW. His family business led by his father’s ambitions began to flounder and in 2006 was closed. The Lavoie family was having trouble and shortly after the business closed Brandon’s father left. It was then when a mutual friend introduced Brandon to Ron. Since then Brandon has become an integral part of Coast Motor Werk. He knows BMWs and MINIs inside and out. His devotion to his family is very strong and it’s a common thing to see Brandon working on a family member’s car on his days off.
George – Manager
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, George Atiyeh’s passion for cars and all things fast was only natural as a young boy. While most boys eventually grew to be accountants or lawyers, George only became more fascinated by cars and well designed ones at that. Not having the financial means to enroll in an actual automotive technical school by the time he graduated, he instead found himself in a position as a customer service representative at a call center. Initially starting the position as a temp, it took less than 2 years for him to excel and become the National Compliance Manager and run the entire operation for USA and Canada. He eventually grew the call center to a staff of 40+ representatives handling nationwide calls while finishing his degree at Cal State Fullerton.
Around the same time, his passion for all things BMW was jumpstarted in 1999 when he watched British Motor Journalist Tiff Needel review the new BMW M5 on a show called “Top Gear”. That same summer he and his friend James drove to the LA Auto Show where he sought out that very car. George first sat in an Imola Red E39 M5 and said to himself, “I will own one of these one day.” Tiff had described the car as “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” and from that point forward George knew he had to be involved with BMWs.
George learned early on that there was always room for improvement in customer service and took great pride in ensuring that his team always provided it to the client. After eventually burning out on corporate politics and answering to shareholders, George found his love of BMWs and family oriented small business values combine at Coast Motor Werk in Irvine. Having initially found CMW as a customer, he is now an employee and is surrounded by an incredible team and his beloved BMWs on a daily basis.
When not pampering his beloved M5, “Lola”, George miraculously finds time for his stunningly beautiful, patient, and much smarter wife Michelle, and his future Formula 1 driving daughter Landon. Landon will most assuredly inherit “Lola” when she’s 16 after completing numerous driving courses and countless hours of applying it on a racetrack.
Todd – Irvine Shop Foreman
Todd Schwarzkopf had a less than normal childhood. Young Todd was presented with interesting challenges as he developed abnormally large thumbs and hair the color of a lobster. As he grew older his loving parents urged him to follow a path in life that would welcome his lobster claw thumbs. They suggested professional thumb wrestling, joining forces with Siskel and Ebert, thumb tack installer, and even joining the circus as “Lobster Boy.” Fortunately, Todd was able to see beyond his abnormalities and focus on his strengths.
Growing up, Todd enjoyed taking things apart. Once he ran out of bicycles and remote controlled cars, he began learning how to put them back together. This tinkering later turned into a skill when he realized how these simple machines were engineered. He found himself diagnosing and fixing his friends’ bikes. Bored with this, he turned to the more complex components of RC cars and helicopters. Todd realized his passion in life would be in the diagnosis and repair of something, he just couldn’t figure out what.
Todd took his technical ambition to the runway as he flew to Colorado for a degree in Computer Science. In order to pay for pocket protectors and other nerdy stuff, he acquired a summer job. He took what he could get at the time, not knowing that this summer job would change his life completely.
Sweeping floors at a Toyota dealership doesn’t seem life changing, but for Todd it was just that. In between pushing a broom, Todd would keep a close eye on the technicians and what they were doing. This ambition got him his first “wrench” job. He worked his way up with Toyota and Infiniti, occasionally doing inspections on vehicles that were traded in. It took one BMW 8 series trade-in to convert Todd to the engineering beauty that is BMW. The Schwarzkopf family tree would be proud that German engineering could bring Todd such pleasure.
Todd quickly found himself applying for a job at local BMW dealerships. Irvine BMW would eventually hire him as an entry-level technician. It was here that Todd polished his skills, and maxed out his training to become a Level 1 Certified BMW Master Technician. This new title was a far cry from sweeping floors. After 15 years of working for the man, Todd strived for more. He wanted to work somewhere that put customers back in their BMW with a smile, not a middle finger.
Todd came to us with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We often see this in technicians coming to us straight from the dealership. As with others before him, we knew that we could harness the skills he had learned. We would have to transform his dealership mentality into something that would fit the Coast Motor Werk mold.
Todd has proven to us, and to our customers, that the 15 years he spent at the dealership were not wasted. His skills are clearly marked by his ability to diagnose (the most difficult task as a technician). Todd can figure out a failure on a BMW like Indiana Jones can find his way out of the Temple of Doom. Could Todd be the Indiana Jones of BMW diagnostics? We believe so. If you ever find your car with an “unfixable problem,” give the lobster a call.
When not at Coast Motor Werk, Todd can be found occupying his time in many ways. He’s been trying to prevent his daughter from growing up by limiting her shoe size and telling her about the horrible side affects of cooties. He enjoys long walks on the beach with other CMW employee, Lucy (see bio). To keep his mind and body in shape he also enjoys woodworking, garage tinkering, being with friends and family, and making IPA’s disappear. Todd is definitely the type of person that takes advantage of life and the good things it has to offer.
Favian – Technician
Favian Lopez, born and raised in Santa Ana, knows the meaning of earning a living. He began his career with odd jobs that gave him no sense of satisfaction. Pride and satisfaction in his work are things that his personality craved. Following his father’s footsteps he found himself working at the OC Register print shop. This gave Favian a lot of hands on work that he enjoyed. It was the final product he was not satisfied with. I mean, who actually reads newspapers these days? He had always had a passion for cars, and the engineering behind them, ever since he had the best Hot Wheels collection in town. He decided to take his passion for fixing things and his passion for cars to form his future career. Favian, understanding the importance of a good education, began his dream with a degree from Universal Technical Institute. Graduation was bittersweet as he entered the job market at the worst possible time. With minimal career opportunities available, Favian was forced to settle on his first offer. Unfortunately for Favian, this is not the part of the story where Coast Motor Werk comes in.
Favian took a position as a mobile big rig maintenance technician. Every young boy has dreamed of working with big rigs and construction equipment. Unfortunately for Favian, working with full size big rigs is a far cry from the little sandbox trucks we all had as children. He knew that this is not where his passion would be fulfilled. Fortunately, he would later realize that this experience is what would build his character and great work ethics.
He often envied several of his friends who worked at one of the nation’s largest BMW dealerships. As he spent his days draining gallons of oil from Peterbuilts and Mac trucks, he often dreamed of what it would be like under a BMW. He pleaded with his connections at Crevier BMW to find him a position there. The economy at the time made this impossible. As he talked to each of them, the name “Coast Motor Werk” kept coming up. Favian decided to stop by with resume in hand and see what all the hype was about.
Favian’s clear passion to learn is what initially won the crew at Coast Motor Werk over. CMW knew he was the perfect clay to mold in to the ultimate BMW technician. He continues to impress with his hard work ethics and ridiculously high standards of quality. When not providing white linen level service, he can usually be found hiding dog treats or creating some sort of obstacle course for Maggie and Lucy. If you ever find yourself at CMW wondering why Maggie and Lucy are at your side, Favian has probably hidden a treat in your pocket, taped it to your back, or tucked it in your shoelaces. We believe he dreams of an E30 M3 in his garage and new places to hide treats.
When not torturing dogs with mid-air suspended treats, he can be found on early morning mountain bike rides, defending his catcher position in his local amateur baseball league, and fulfilling his passion for music, playing bass guitar. Recently he has given up on the “trying to keep the band together” gig, so he just jams with whoever is down. If you have something that makes noise, chances are Favian will jam with you.
Alex – Technician
If there were a song written about Yorba Linda, Alex Rowland would have written it. Born, raised, currently living, and currently looking to purchase a home in Yorba Linda makes Alex Yorba Linda’s biggest fan. We think his love for this spacious land is due to the amount of space it allows him to store BMW parts and project cars. We secretly think he is saving up to start a BMW parts warehouse.
As Alex aged on the streets of Linda he showcased his passion for engineering and tinkering. He started with model cars that later sparked his love of modeling. He started out with Sears’ catalogs and later progr……(Whoa, sorry. Just mixed up his file with another Bio I’m writing for a girl applying for “The Bachelor”. Alex Rowland, Alex Rowland …. here it is!) He started with model cars and later, strangely, started tinkering with computers. Once he turned sixteen and realized he couldn’t drive his computer to pick up his girlfriend, he started tinkering with cars.
His passion for working on automobiles brought Alex back to a memorable experience he had as a child. He was sitting on his front yard in you guessed it, Yorba Linda. Out of nowhere a BMW E30 M3 went flying past him, but to Alex it was all in slow motion. Following the M3 was a parade of siren-blazing Crown Vic’s. The excitement of the chase left Alex with 2 questions that needed only one answer. Should he start the early phases of a childhood criminal so that one day he could be the one running from the police? Or should he set his goals to one day own a vehicle as stunning as that M3 appeared to him that early morning. His decision would be made later that night when Alex and his neighbor experienced the driver of that M3 up close and not so personal on the evening news. Luckily for us, Alex took the second path. He has owned, and claims he always will own, an M car.
His hobby as a sixteen year old of working on BMW’s in his parents’ driveway with his buddy Mario (see bio) would soon turn into his passion and career. Because “working on BMW’s in my parents driveway” doesn’t sit well on a resume, Alex started his dreams off small. So small they could only be driven on a hockey rink. After mastering the basic repairs of a Zamboni, he took his backyard knowledge to the classroom at Universal Technical Institute. After graduating as the world’s best student and son (according to Alex and his mother), he landed a job at a local BMW and Porsche repair shop. It was an easy choice for Alex to strengthen his skills with BMW so he went on to attend, and graduate from, BMW’s elite FastTrack Factory Training Program. He reluctantly returned to his previous job, working on BMW’s and Porsches.
Whether it was Facebook or E-Harmony, we will never know; Alex was reunited with his childhood friend and wrenching buddy, Mario. Mario told his long lost friend about his amazing new job with Coast Motor Werk. Immediately intrigued by the thought of working exclusively on BMW’s and MINI’s, Alex pleaded for an interview. At this interview we were immediately impressed by Alex’s outgoing personality and his passion for BMW’s. Despite being the newest member of Team CMW, it is clear that Alex will be a long time player in our starting lineup.
When not working on BMW’s at CMW, Alex can be found working on BMW’s, thinking about BMW’s and reading about BMW’s. When not doing something related to BMW’s, he is spending quality time with his wonderful girlfriend and beautiful daughter. We’re pretty confident even during this quality time he tries to turn the conversation into something about how those jeans would look great in a BMW, or how would you like to drink your baby formula in my BMW. He needs help; please bring him your BMW to satisfy his addiction.
Mario – Technician
Although Harbor City sounds like a made up city to me, Mario Diaz calls it his birthplace. Not knowing where this city places on the map, but having gotten to know Mario very well, I imagine it a place nothing short of magical. I picture a place where unicorns roam free while shooting rainbows across the sky from their nostrils. A place where it rains glitter and the rivers flow with a swirl of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. A place like this is where I picture Mario’s birthplace, a land of magic and flawless BMW technicians.
Do you remember that kid in grade school you would rely on to fix your locker or put back together the pencil sharpener the teacher had abandoned years ago? That kid could have been Mario if you grew up in Long Beach, where Mario has lived since he was five. I’ve never worked with someone who possesses such a natural ability to look at something and understand the complete mechanics of it, before poking it with a screwdriver or hitting it with a hammer.
His natural skills and curiosity began at an early age in the kitchen with his mother. Instead of helping his mother out with baking and cleaning, Mario did quite the opposite. He would follow her around, watching her as she used the blender, microwave, and toaster. Seeing what these appliances could do peaked his curiosity. He would wait until her exhausting chores led her elsewhere so that he could have his hands at the appliances. He didn’t want to see them in action; he wanted to see them in a hundred pieces laid across the kitchen counter. During the early stages of this exploration, Mario would often have to work off the cost of a new toaster or blender. As time and experience progressed, he was able to reassemble more and more of these appliances, learning a lot in the process.
Having proven himself in the kitchen, Mario would soon be allowed to help his father maintain his brand new 1983 BMW 320i, unlike the pile of toasters in their backyard. Besides his family, this BMW 320i may have had the biggest influence on Mario’s future. Mario joined the BMW Car Club of America at age eleven. Eleven is also, strangely, the age at which Mario learned to drive a manual transmission. For legal purposes, we will be put on record that he was in another country for this training. It was an easy decision for Mario at this young age to realize that BMWs would be his future.
We’re not sure how Mario is with women, but he sure goes through a lot of cars. By age 23 he had owned seven BMWs, every single one black or white. He claims Billy Jean has never been his lover nor has he ever beat it, but he never cared what color they were as long as they were black or white. Mario funded his passion for BMWs through this buying, fixing, and selling business model of his.
Mario began his professional career with his brother Luigi, in general plumbing. Things got hairy one day when they found themselves racing through the worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom, trying to evade Bowser’s forces to save Princess Toadstool. This proved very stressful for young Mario, so he decided to start fixing BMWs out of his buddy’s garage. Once Mario realized this two-car garage in Long Beach limited his career goals, he began to venture out. He found a Porsche restoration Shop in Huntington Beach that was in need of a rust-fighting specialist. Having experience with rusty plumbing, Mario seemed a good fit for the job. He spent his days restoring old Porsches, and all of his free time doing what he loves, working on BMWs. It did not take him long to realize that his passion should also be his profession.
Through a random series of events and people, Mario came into contact with Ron Inchausti, owner of Coast Motor Werk. Ron could see a lot of potential and promise in Mario, so he brushed the rust off of Mario and sent him to prove himself at our Irvine location. Mario has proven he deserves to be a part of the team with his great attitude, natural abilities, and passion for BMWs.
When not at CMW, Mario enjoys “spirited driving” (again, in a different country), being with his friends and family, recruiting people to work at CMW, and working on BMWs. Apparently 9-5 isn’t enough to get his fill.
Jon – Service Advisor, Irvine
John – Facilites Maintenance
Jorge – Technician
Alec – Technician
James – Service Advisor, HB
Lucy – Passenger Seat Tester
Lucy was born and raised in a healthy, loving environment. She has never been subjected to the evils of the world, and it shows. She currently holds the title for world’s most loving dog. She has proof of this as it says it right on her dog bowl. As the sun rises every morning, Lucy is already convinced that today is going to be the greatest day ever. Every new day is her favorite day. Her goal in life is to make as many best friends as caninely possible. If you haven’t met Lucy yet, you can be assured that you are a future best friend of hers. As the lion, tin man, and scarecrow know, you can’t have it all. What may she lack? Well, she’s a beautiful “golden retriever” (awaiting DNA results), so it’s definitely not beauty. Gee, this is awkward. I am not quite sure how to say this without upsetting our human resources department… I guess the polite way of putting it would be that if Lucy were to dress up as someone from the Wizard of Oz for a Halloween party, she would likely go as the Scarecrow.
Lucy looks to her alpha co-worker, Maggie (see bio), to instruct her on how to survive a day at CMW. Here’s a look into the events of Lucy’s first day at work.
Jump into MINI Cooper for morning commute. Sorry Lucy, you don’t count for the carpool lane. She arrived at work and of course it was the “best day ever.” Wag tail. She discovered the box of dog toys (or as Lucy calls them, toys) before the shop doors even opened. She played so hard, and greeted so many customers, that she passed out before noon. Maggie shook her head in disapproval, thinking that Lucy would have made a great scarecrow. Lucy woke up towards the end of the day feeling like she missed out on something. She thought long and hard about this that night until her head hurt.
The next morning (also, coincidentally, the best day ever) Lucy mustered up the brainpower to try a different strategy. Following Maggie’s every footstep; this is Lucy’s new daily routine. Show up for work. Wag tail. Sleep. Wake up for morning treat. Sleep. Wake up for lunchtime treat. Sleep. Wake up for UPS delivery guy treat. Sleep. Wake up to bark at mailman. Sleep. Wake up for afternoon treat. Sleep. Wake up to bark at garage doors going down, indicating the end of the workday.
Being the lover that Lucy is, she has modified Maggie’s daily routine slightly by adding way more playing, tail wagging, flirting with customers, and playing dumb blonde to get even more treats while Maggie is sleeping. Maybe Lucy isn’t as airheaded as she pretends to be.
When not at CMW Lucy can be found meeting new best friends at the beach, eating things that most dogs would consider inedible, and having the best day ever.
Maggie – Customer Relations
Maggie was born on the streets of Georgia, depending solely on a diet of flowers for survival. She was picked up by a local pound at six months of age where she received her sentence. She escaped with the help of a generous shelter from Massachusetts. She was quickly adopted as she was “as sweet as a Georgia peach”, as she puts it. She dreamed of a warmer climate and weekends at the beach. She convinced her daddy to move her out west. She chose to settle down in Huntington Beach because she heard of all the “hot tail” that hangs out at Huntington’s Dog Beach.
Maggie’s responsibilities at Coast Motor Werk include parking lot security, customer service, and employee relations.
She enjoys long walks on the beach, tummy rubs, singing, and tennis balls.