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Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Sam Furrow, Owner of Land Rover Chattanooga, and his daughter Lee Ann Tolsma, President of Furrow Auto, cut the ribbon on the newly expanded Land Rover Chattanooga car dealership on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In the latest expansion of its luxury auto dealership along I-75 in Ooltewah, the Furrow Auto Group has completed a $4.5 million upgrade of its Land Rover dealership to add more inventory, service facilities and customer convenience.

Despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic which has limited the supply of some new car inventory, company president Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma hopes the new facilities will help boost total new and used vehicles sales at Furrow's Infiniti, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover above the more than 700 vehicles sold at the three dealerships in 2019.

"People are focusing now on their homes and their cars so the demand is there," Tolsma said during a ribbon-cutting celebration Thursday for the new Land Rover facility. "Our biggest concern now is getting enough supply, but fortunately the past couple of months have shown strong service business and we are getting new inventory, especially for the popular Land Rover Defender (a luxury all-terrain sport utility vehicle)."

The new 32,000-square-foot addition and renovation expanded the number of service bays from six to 10 and upgraded the service area with new technology to allow for easier and quicker picking of tires and parts and includes state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair equipment within a the renovated service territory.

To expand the dealership and add more cars, Sam Furrow said the company spent about $2 million to buy and demolish an old hotel property for more space. The new building project has taken about a year and a half to complete.

"It's clean, inviting and bright and allows us to better show off our great luxury cars," said Steven Sconzo, executive general manager for Land Rover Chattanooga.

Sconzo said the customer entrances to the Land Rover dealerships are built to resemble a luxury hotel and the facility is set up for sales, service, leasing and picking up or delivery of vehicles.

Furrow began his industrial auction business in Knoxville in 1968. The company expanded into the luxury car market with an auto dealership in Knoxville that includes Mercedes and Land Rover.

Furrow, who has done business for decades in Chattanooga, saw an opportunity in 2000 to bring the Land Rover brand to Chattanooga with a stand-alone dealership at the Bonny Oaks exit on I-75 to serve the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia region.

Over the past two decades in Chattanooga, Furrow added the Jaguar brand in 2002 and was awarded the Porsche franchise in 2006. In 2013, Furrow acquired the Infiniti dealership formerly on Chapman Road from Tim Kelly and built a new facility next to the Land Rover dealerships to grow the Infiniti brand at the Ooltewah campus.

"Right now there is a lot of migration from larger cities to markets like Chattanooga and Knoxville so we think there is a great opportunity for growth here," Sam Furrow said.

Collectively, the Infiniti, Porsche and Jaquar/Land Rover dealerships comprise over 5 acres and employ about 80 workers, Tolsma said.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

Photo Gallery

Land Rover upgrade

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