Mountain View Auto Group has opened a new Hyundai dealership in Ringgold, Ga., with the aim of becoming the brand's No. 1 store in the Chattanooga area.
The dealership took over the space that formerly held Mountain View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, which shifted to a site a couple miles away off state Highway 151 where a new store was built.
Gavin Stewart, the Hyundai dealership's general sales manager, said plans are to eventually construct a new Hyundai store next to Mountain View Chrysler.
Many of the Hyundai vehicles sold at Mountain View Hyundai were assembled at the Korean automaker’s production plant in Montgomery, Ala.
"Within a couple of years, we're going to be building there as well," he said.
But since July 9, Mountain View Hyundai is operating at 7154 Nashville St. near Ringgold's downtown.
Stewart said the dealership sold 11 new and used vehicles in the first two weeks it was open.
"It will do very well here," he said, noting that in addition to the Hyundai brand, the store has a variety of used vehicles. "You name it, we'll have it out there."
While the dealership employs 13 people currently, plans are to ultimately ramp up to about 50, Stewart said.
LeBron Clark, the dealership's general manager, said Mountain View officials are excited to have two Ringgold dealerships.
"Now we have double the opportunities to provide Ringgold and the surrounding communities with exceptional price, selection and above all outstanding service," he said.
The new 35,000-square-foot Chrysler store expects to rise from average monthly sales of about 150 vehicles a month to between 200 and 300 units, officials said. Also, the employee headcount at the dealership was to jump from around 65 to 85 at the new facility, they said earlier.
Chattanooga-based Mountain View bought the Chrysler dealership about four years ago.
Concerning the Hyundai dealership, Mountain View acquired Pye Hyundai earlier in Dalton, Ga., and officials decided to relocate it to Ringgold. It's the only Hyundai store in Northwest Georgia, according to the auto group.
Stewart said Hyundai has a 100,000-mile, seven-year powertrain warranty, which separates it from other carmakers.
Also, he quipped that the dealership has "a credit ninja" — himself — who's focused on getting any prospective buyer credit approved.
The auto group goes back to 1981 when C. Austin Watson, grandfather of cousins Clay Watson and Austin Watson, bought the Ford dealership.
Mountain View Auto Group today has grown to operate eight other dealerships in East Tennessee and North Georgia areas. These include Mountain View Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Nissan and Mountain View @153, all in Chattanooga. Nissan of Dalton, is located in Dalton and the Chrysler dealership is in Ringgold along with Hyundai. Mountain View also operates Pandora Motor Sports in Chattanooga, which sells motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.