Business Spotlight - German Motors and Imports in Pacific Beach: “We do good work!”



Beamer sighting on Turquoise Street. Porsche, too. And Mercedes. And VW. Seeing a pattern?

They all could be headed to or from German Motors and Imports, which has been servicing the best from Deutschland in Pacific Beach since 1959. This dates back to an original location (under a different name and owner) on Cass Street before current owners Richard Zins and Bernd Schwarzer merged the two locations into the one Turquoise site. Company-wise, it’s small, with a staff of six, including two technicians, though Zins and Schwarzer also can get “on the line,” according to Brenda Hamett, German Motors and Imports’ office manager. She’s been with the shop for 28 years.

“It’s a good business. We’re honest. We do good work and we try to take care of our customers,” said Hamett, who herself drives a 2000 Mercedes E320. “I’ve got great bosses, and I’ve learned from all of them,” including service manager Dave Gilbert. “Dave taught me everything I know.”

Talk with Hamett and you’re talking fine German automobiles. The shop does service other imports, like Volvos and Toyotas and Lexuses — or would that be Lexi? But its schnitzel and noodles, you might say, is German vehicles. “Once you drive and own a German car, it’s really hard to drive anything else,” she said. “They drive great. You can’t compare to them.”

German Motors and Imports’ services run the gamut from tune-ups and oil changes to brake repair, clutch repair, diagnostics and the ever more complex work on these sophisticated vehicles’ computer and electrical systems.

“You have to know all the control units and all the little brains embedded in the car now,” Hamett pointed out. “These newer cars are so complicated.”

You will get what you pay for, she said. “We use factory and genuine stuff. We don’t put NAPA parts on our Mercedes or BMWs. You’re going to save on labor because we’re always less than the dealer, but we still have to spend the time to do the job properly. We try to make it as cost-effective for the customer as we can.”

Of course if you can afford to own a Mercedes or a BMW or a Porsche or an Audi, taking care of it the right way comes with the territory. “If you’re going to drive that kind of car,” said Hamett, “you are mentally prepared. You know they are going to be expensive to maintain and you have that in your mind.”

Besides being hard workers, the folks at German Motors and Imports are good neighbors. Most every Thursday night, for example, they’re down the street at VFW Post 5985, supporting the veterans. Don’t be surprised, either, if when waiting for your car someone gives you a gift card to the nearby French Gourmet where you can get a coffee and a croissant. That’s neighborhood and international relations.

• German Motors and Imports, 986 Turquoise St., Pacific Beach. (858) 488-7878. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. Closed weekends.

The Business Spotlight features commercial enterprises that support the La Jolla Light.