Integrity remaking Chattanooga dealership

Rendering of Integrity Buick GMC Cadillac store on International Drive off of Highway 153 that is undergoing a renovation. The site was originally developed as a GM Saturn dealership.

Six years ago, General Motors was on its heels, roiled by the Great Recession and forced into bankruptcy.

But last year, the new GM sold nearly 3 million vehicles in the United States, up 5.3 percent from 2013 with seven of its models hitting new annual sales marks.

With confidence high in the brand, Integrity Buick GMC Cadillac is remaking its Chattanooga dealership and spending more than $2 million in the upgrade.

"With the offerings they have and what's coming down the pike ..., the overall direction of the company is very, very positive," said Brent Morgan, Integrity Automotive Group president.

Morgan said the work at the International Drive dealership will include a new separate showroom for Cadillac as well as one for Buick and GMC.

Currently 30,000 square feet in size, plans are to make the facility a little larger, boosting its spaciousness and flow, he said.

"It's needed because of an increase in business," Morgan said, adding that sales at the store were up 19 percent last year. "We continue to see new product launches."

Plans are to grow the business even more, he said, citing the Chattanooga market.

"There's a lot of upside," the Integrity official said.

Both Cadillac and Buick GMC will have their own customer areas. The new facility will include a customer lounge, high-speed wireless Internet, a new service reception area, car wash, and service department upgrades, Morgan said.

"Everything supports the customer experience," he said.

A former Saturn dealership, Integrity has been at the site since 2010.

"We've continued to see steady growth year after year," Morgan said. "It was time to invest in our facility to take better care of customers."

Integrity Automotive also includes a Chevrolet dealership nearby on Chapman Road, which has become the No. 1 volume Chevy dealer in East Tennessee, according to the company.

Akshay Anand, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said GM closed out 2014 with a big December with sales up 19 percent over a year ago, officially putting to bed any notion that recalls were supposed to torpedo its 2014 sales.

"As they've done all year, Buick and GMC closed the books with another strong month, led in December by Enclave, LaCrosse, Terrain, Yukon and Sierra," he said. Arand said most of the December growth for GM came from SUVs with a few exceptions such as Impala and Spark.

He said Cadillac sales were driven by its SUV nameplate, as its sedans continue to struggle. But, he predicted 2015 should be a big year for Cadillac as officials are set to announce multiple all-new vehicles.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.