Owned and operated by Washington City residents, Chris and Lori Long, Bavarian Werkstätte recently earned the Best of Southern Utah 2022 gold-level award as an auto service center. What began as a small repair shop from their home garage has become a state-of-the-art workshop with five full-time and experienced mechanics and two full-time service writers. Their specialty? High-end European cars, with a particular niche in BMWs and MINIs.
Like many, Chris’s love for cars began while playing with Matchbox toys and attending car shows with his dad. However, cars became more than just a hobby. From childhood and into adulthood, Chris tried to memorize every car on the road—and one car happened to spark his interest and change the course of his life.
At age 15, Chris bought his first BMW, an E28 528E. He saved his paychecks and worked on that car in his free time, restoring it mechanically and esthetically. Chris recalls, “My parents tried to persuade me out of it, but I got the car running, and it snowballed from there.”
Chris turned his passion into purpose, and after several years, purchased more BMWs. Fortuitously, he also got a job as a porter with Excluservice, a German-owned European repair shop in his home state of Maryland, where the owner had a fleet of vintage BMWs. Chris smiles while reflecting on driving them to car shows, saying, “That experience cemented my vision.”
Later, Chris moved to St. George, where he met Lori. She points at Chris when asked about her passion for cars. “It was him,” she laughs. Lori has spent a decade helping to grow the workshop into what it is today, and has learned the most common problems car owners face regarding their vehicles—all the while overseeing advertising, financials and HR. While brainstorming ideas for Lori’s official title, they land on “general manager” or “jack of all trades!"
Since operating from their home and relying on word-of-mouth advertising, the demand for their services has grown, alongside demand for a European car repair center in southern Utah. As a natural result, their happy customers have helped to establish the Bavarian Werkstätte brand throughout the last 10 years.
Chris and Lori expanded into two other locations before building their newest home on Washington Dam Road. Their posh workshop boasts pristine white floors, Bosch and G Power equipment, and European car technicians with more than 40 years of combined BMW technical experience. Team members pride themselves on their quality of work and the relationships they have established by providing detailed and reliable care for their customers’ valued assets.
“Our goal is to provide dealer-level service with local convenience to southern Utah,” explains Lori. “We want the BMW and MINI owners here to know they have access to the same high-quality service that the dealer provides, with the newest diagnostic technology, but with a more personal approach,” she states further, adding that owners can enjoy their luxury vehicles without having to worry about driving to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City for regular maintenance and repairs.
“We started this business from the ground up, rooted in integrity,” Chris says, expressing gratitude to all who have contributed to their success. “This workshop has become our American dream,” Chris concludes with sentiment.