Ali Sarmast

Above: Platinum Autohaus exclusives  |  Ferrari 430 Scuderia and McLaren 570S special edition “Racing Through the Ages”

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Ali Sarmast was educated in Ankara, Turkey, and moved to London, England, to pursue a business degree before relocating to the United States. His first job in the automotive industry was with a friend’s rental car company near LAX in 1993. Ali realized that the company’s friendly customer service contributed to its worldwide growth and success. Drawing on his own customer service experience, he established Platinum Autohaus—a dealership specializing in preowned luxury vehicles and exotic cars—in Redondo Beach in 1997.


Tell us what you enjoy most about your business.

“I take pride in selecting each luxury vehicle on my lot. I have a passion for matching a potential client with the dream car they are searching for. They are all unique. I think the classic cars we feature are really cool because I’m buying a piece of history. My wife calls me the ‘passionate collector’!

The smile on a client’s face when they drive off the lot in their new vehicle makes me happy—whether it be an exotic sports car or a simple SUV. We can provide financing for new cars, or we can assist in used-car financing. Our clients appreciate that extra personal touch we give at Platinum Autohaus.”


What is your best secret to success?

“Getting up every day like it’s a new day. I also credit much of the dealership’s success to my great team! They make each client feel special and attend to their needs—whether the client bought a new car or they are just browsing. We try to establish a friendship with each client—a South Bay friendship! We want our clients and friends to feel they can stop by anytime and browse. We are so lucky to have the beautiful ocean breeze and great weather here in Redondo Beach. It’s an asset to our dealership.”


How do you help clients feel they are in good hands?

“Being in this business for more than 20 years, when clients are looking for a special car, I am able to match them with their dream vehicle. If desired, I find a cost-saving plan with a special pre-owned to suit their budget. I take the extra time to search and shop nationwide until I find what they are looking for. If there is a deadline—perhaps an anniversary or birthday surprise—I’m happy to work with the client, from finding the car to the special delivery process. I enjoy this, and I think my customer service skills play a big part in the fact that I have returning customers and celebrity clientele.”


What do you love about living in the South Bay?

“I work out in the morning at Equinox. It’s a friendly, cozy environment, and exercise starts my day right. The South Bay has lots of beautiful people out early walking along the beach, biking, jogging. Just look around—it’s full of good energy here. The beach motivates me, and I’m grateful that on my way to work I get to enjoy the view.

I also love all of the beautiful restaurants in the South Bay. Whether it be Japanese or Italian, I appreciate all cultures of food. The best part is having dinner where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset! My favorite restaurant is in Manhattan Beach—my wife and I love The Strand House. We have dinner overlooking the Manhattan Beach Pier, with an ocean-view sunset and a lovely glass of rosé. 

I think the South Bay is fast becoming California’s favorite new cultural place to get away on the weekends. I have so many out-of-town clients now who pop back here on the weekends just for the International cuisine influences … and then of course they come to see my cars.”


How Do you pursue happiness?

“I love to cook and discover new ways to inspire my taste for good food. I love to go to a market and search for fresh herbs to add. Fresh herbs make cooking fun and great-tasting. I love it when I make a delicious dish and my family sits down and enjoys. It’s pure happiness when everyone is gathered around the table with a smile after the first bite. My specialty dish so far is my hand-pressed Red Meat Kebob, which is panfried and then steamed, served with my Persian Burnt Rice with a touch of saffron. It’s an old family recipe.”


Tell us about your family.

“My wife and I share a passion for beautiful exotic cars. Raising two children and being married has inspired me to work harder and provide the best I can for my family. 

My son recently graduated from college and now helps me at Platinum Autohaus. He has lots of innovative ideas and is great with the power of design—an asset for the Platinum Autohaus team because good designs are changing the world.

My daughter is an equestrian show jumper. We go to the barn and spend time with her three horses on the weekends. I enjoy being with her there; it is a great stress-reliever being around the horses and watching her train. She is passionate about it.

My wife and I also have three dogs. Tyson is a Great Dane, Peter is a Chihuahua and Akira is a Wooly Husky. Our favorite family together time is having dinner when I arrive home from work. We all cook in our family, including the kids! From guacamole to steak, fried rice to crepes—you name it, we love to make it!

My mother and two sisters live in Virginia. I have an older brother, and he played a big role in the construction of Platinum Autohaus. Even though I’m taller than him, I look up to him.”


What’s the most exhilarating experience you’ve had with a car?

“When the world-class Longines Masters horse jumping show was last in Long Beach, we were invited to attend. My wife surprised me with something she set up beforehand with the Lamborghini headquarters director and the mayor of Long Beach. When we attended the pre-event party, they told us that Longines had set up a special car racing course around the horse show. The mayor closed all of the main roads around the show, and I got to drive a Lamborghini like I was in Italy: 100+ mph. This was the most exhilarating experience I have had with any exotic car in the United States, and we did this right here in the South Bay!”