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Joachim Neumann, founder and President of Auto West BMW and the Auto West Group, is an important figure in the beginning and growth of the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC/Special Olympics BC Auction, and continues to provide generous support for the benefit of the charities.

Neumann gave his time and support as one of the first Chairs of the auction’s organizing committee, and he recalls a great deal of fun during the early years with the auction staged as a live evening affair in Vancouver. The event would receive “so much support from the dealer community. It was a beautiful evening,” Neumann says.

He and the committee were dedicated to ensuring the success of the event to benefit Special Olympics BC, working on everything from donations to ensuring bidding went well on the night. In subsequent years, the auction transitioned into its current online format, providing a way of improving the reach of the event and involving more dealers from around the province, Neumann says. He has generously remained involved as an ongoing supporter of the auction.

Neumann became involved with the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. early in his career, thinking it important for everyone to give their time to support their industry organization, and seeking to learn from the mentors and pioneers of the industry who are also involved in the association.

Neumann has been part of the industry since 1974, beginning in wholesale with his father’s BMW importation business. In 1986, he stepped into the sales side for the first time when opening the Auto West BMW franchise in Richmond, at which point he joined the New Car Dealers Association and came to learn a great deal from the industry veterans in the community and his work with the organization. “It was a big gift,” he says.

After the New Car Dealers Foundation of B.C. was founded, Neumann served as President for many years. He feels the association’s relationship with SOBC shows how important dealers can be in communities with their reach of resources and manpower. Auto West BMW gives back to their community by supporting causes such as Special Olympics and the BC Children’s Hospital; Neumann says they are glad to contribute to Special Olympics as a worthy cause and to align with what the association is doing.

“It’s a part of the community that needs special support so these individuals are not forgotten,” Neumann says. He observes the value in Special Olympics giving individuals with intellectual disabilities the chance to participate in sport and enjoy the benefits, and providing support to deserving families.