PORTSMOUTH — Bavarian Autosport, a local retailer for BMW and MINI parts and accessories, closed suddenly last week after 45 years in business.
The Portsmouth-based mail-order and online retailer located at 275 Constitution Ave. announced on March 8 that it was closing in a message posted on its Facebook page.
“With a heavy heart, Bavarian Autosport is sad to announce that we’ve closed our doors after 45 wonderful years. We have loved being part of your community as we’ve built, raced, and repaired our cars together. We are working on options to ensure that the Bavarian Autosport name will live on. Until then, thank you for your dedication and commitment to us over all these years,” the statement said.
Company officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The business, which was also known as BAVauto and employed approximately 40 people, began selling BMW parts out of a garage in Stratham in 1974 and parts for MINI in 2002.
After outgrowing the garage, the business moved to Newmarket and eventually to Portsmouth.
“Our company began life as a BMW service shop, maintaining, repairing and modifying 2002s, Coupes and Bavarias. At the same time, we started to build an inventory of parts that BMW enthusiasts in the Northeast could purchase to do their own maintenance, repairs and modifications,” the company’s website said.
The business began advertising BMW products nationwide in the late 1970s and by 1983 created its first catalog.
Its website, BAVauto.com, started in 1996 and became an online store in 2001.
The website describes Bavarian Autosport as the leading BMW and MINI parts and accessories mail-order and Internet retailer in the world with a retail showroom and distribution center with more than 400,000 factory original and aftermarket BMW and MINI parts and accessories.
“Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Bavarian Autosport has been owned by the same guys who started wrenching those 2002s back in 1974. Many members of the Bavarian team have been with the company for more than 10 years, and quite a few for over 20 years,” the website said.