About Us

Founder and Technical Instructor

Chris Knuth

Chris Knuth is the Co-Owner of Star Motors European Service and the Founder of APAC ATI in San Juan Capistrano, CA. His tenacity, drive, and ability to make genuine connections with others is foundational to his tremendous success within the automotive industry over the last 26-years.

His career began in 1997 as a mechanic at a Honda/Acura specialty shop, which led to subsequent independent repair shops. In 2008, the opportunity came to purchase Star Motors. Through hard work, commitment, and a willingness to continue learning, Chris is now a well-respected business owner and mentor to Automotive Industry Professionals worldwide. Chris is passionate about mentoring, training, and creating opportunities for the next generation of automotive technicians.

In 2014, Chris developed the Star Motors Apprentice program in collaboration with a few colleagues to provide technical skills, training, and mindset development to up-and-coming Automotive Industry Professionals. The program was developed as a solution to what he found to be a lack of highly skilled automotive technicians in the industry.

After traveling to Uganda in January of 2020, Chris – once again – saw the need for quality repair shops and technicians. He co-founded APAC Africa just 5 months later, in June 2020. APAC Africa’s mission is to train technicians and establish a network of quality repair shops throughout Uganda, East Africa … and beyond.

Inspired by that ongoing work in Africa, Chris founded APAC ATI in San Juan Capistrano, CA in September 2020. Chris’s passion for teaching and giving back is at the heart of the organization as he helps those who have raw talent and a desire to become certified and gainfully employed within the automotive industry.

APAC ATI was created in the U.S. to benefit Veterans, formerly incarcerated persons, and those within recovery with the opportunity to create an amazing career in the automotive industry.

Lead Technical Instructor

Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams is APAC ATI’s Lead Technical Instructor. He entered the automotive industry in 2000 after completing a 15-month certification program with Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in 1999, followed by certification in the Mercedes-Benz Elite Program.

Patrick worked with Mercedes-Benz for 7-years and achieved the level of Master Certified Technician. He also is an ASE Master Certified Technician and has the L1- Advanced Engine Performance and A9 Diesel Certifications.

Patrick began his career as a technician at Star Motors in March of 2009 and quickly became adept at servicing and diagnosing other European brands, as well as Asian and Domestic vehicles. He has been a mentor in the Star Motors Apprentice Program and our Shop Foreman since 2015.

Patrick is a patient and skilled teacher. He has a true gift for explaining complex things in a way that is easy to understand and implement. He’s truly a master of his craft!


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