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Love of BMWs goes into a Business

LANCASTER – Even at 11 years old, Victor Vega was fascinated by BMWs. Vega watched his older brother race against BMW 1600 and 2002 models on the streets of his home-town in Guadalajara, Mexico. “One time I tagged along with my brother,” Vega said. “I saw this little box on wheels and wanted to know what kind of cars those were. I asked one of the drivers what they were. He told me it was a German car – a BMW” Vega said his curiosity led him to the library to research BMWs. “It just` amazed me that the company started building aircraft engines in the first World War and then motorcycles,” Vega said. “The engineering that goes into building
the car – it’s one of the best handling cars in the world.” Vega’s obsession with the Ger-
man luxury car eventually led him to open his own BMW repair shopVic’s Bimmer Shop Inc.

The road to opening the business was not an easy one, Vega said. Fresh out of high school, Vega moved, to America with his family in 1979. A year later Vega started work as a “lot boy” cleaning cars and chauffeuring customers at Bob Smith BMW in Canoga Park; “I was a lot boy for about six months,” Vega said. “Then I told my manager that I wanted to do more ‘than that. I didn’t want to push the broom anymore – I wanted to be a

mechanic.” About six months later Vega became a BMW-certified technician. For the next few years Vega said he worked for several independent BMW repair shops and he dreamed of something more 4 owning his own repair business. Vega said he turned to his friend, mentor and employer for advice. “My old boss told me that I would never be able to open my own shop,” Vega said. “That was like a challenge to me. I wanted to prove him wrong.” –

Vega continued to work hard to save his money and study English. In 1987 Vega went to visit his brother who lived in Rosamond to discuss his business idea. “On a Sunday morning he drove me to breakfast in Lancaster and I noticed there were quite a few BMW s driving around,” Vega said. “I noticed there was a BMW dealership on Sierra Highway I said it would be a great place to open a BMW repair shop.” Vega said the next day he found a classified advertisement in the newspaper, listing a repair bay for rent on Avenue I and Beech Street.

“It was a sign,” he said. Vega said he sold all of his personal possessions that were not a
necessity and obtained a loan from his brother. With $10,000 Vega started Vic’s Bimmer Shop.
“The first year was very very difficult because I didn’t know anything about business, I just knew how to repair cars. I learned the business aspect as I went along.” Before Vega could afford advertising he would leave his business card on the windshield of every BMW he came across.

Half a year into the business, Vega said he considered shutting down his shop altogether after a slow Friday “My investment ran out and I called the landlord and said I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Vega said. “It was on the brink of closing.” Vega said he attended Mass that Sunday and prayed. “I left everything in His hands. I said, ‘If this is your will (to close the shop), so be it.” On Monday the phone was ringing off the hook, Vega said.

In 1994 Vega moved the shop to a larger location on Avenue L and 10th Street West. Five years later he moved his business again to its current location at 45253 Trevor Avenue. Through the years Vega said he has built up his clientele through hard work, competitive prices and exceptional customer service. “We have a friendly atmosphere at our shop. We treat customers as our friends.”

While most of Vega’s customers are from the Valley drivers have come from as far away as Long Beach, Thousand Oaks and San Diego.Ron Hawkins of Antelope Acres said he has been taking his BMWS to Vic’s Bimmer Shop since 1988 when he asked Vega to inspect a BMW he was looking to purchase.“I told (Vega) I wanted to know what was going to go wrong with the car within the next 20,000 miles and how much it would cost,” Hawkins said. “He spent two hours looking at it and wouldn’t let me pay him.” Hawkins said he has continued bringing his BMWs to Vega for more than 22 years because of his expertise and integrity “I don’t think I would own a BMW in the Antelope Valley if he wasn’t around, honestly,” Hawkins said. .‘He’s a good mechanic and a good man too.”

Vega’s son, Victor Vega Jr., 30, has worked alongside his father since 1997. Vega said, with auto-mobiles becoming far more technical since he opened his garage 23 years ago, he has to constantly stay up to date on the newest technology Vega and his son attend classes

and seminars to remain current. “We have the latest in diagnostic equipment. We can do whatever the BMW dealer can do. We are constantly updating ourselves and our equipment.” Although Vega spent two years repairing vehicles manufactured by Volvo and Mercedes-Benz he eventually decided to stick with BMWS, including Mini Coopers, which’ are
owned by the car manufacturer. “I “love BMWs – they are the love of my life,” Vega said.-“There’s no comparison to when you actually drive it. BMW is still at the top of the technological advance- When BMW talks, every-one listens.”
Vic’s Bimmer Shop is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday It is closed Friday through Sunday
For details, call (661) 949-1990
or visit www.avbmwrepair.com.
ahoffman@avpress.com

January 21, 2011 - Posted by | AV Bimmer Repair, AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV Mini Cooper Repair, Lancaster BMW | , , , ,

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