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First Choice Auto breaks ground

A local businessman is breaking ground in Farragut for the second Knoxville-area location of his mechanic’s shop — First Choice Automotive.

Mark Wisham, owner of First Choice, said he hopes to open several more stores in the next five years, but Farragut had the traffic patterns and demographics he was looking for in a second location.

“That Smith Road area is pretty much one of the best locations we could find ... a lot of exposure,” Wisham said. The repair shop will be located near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Smith Road, in front of Derby Run apartments.

Wisham said First Choice Automotive began as a specialty repair shop for Hondas and Toyotas, but since have opened to any types of vehicles.

“We started working on everything back in 2005,” he said.

“Still, 50 percent of our customer base is Hondas and Toyotas, just from doing it so long. But our slogan is, ‘We fix everything,’” he added.

First Choice performs major and minor vehicle repairs and preventive maintenance, such as oil changes.

“If you’ve got a Mercedes, BMW, Honda, a Ford, we’re going to do the oil changes, the preventive maintenance and we’ll deal with any breakdowns you might have,” Wisham said.

“Everything but body work,” he added.

Wisham said he and his employees took a lot of time and effort to be a “green” business.

“We recycle everything,” he said, including any and all fluids removed from the vehicles to scrap metals.

First Choice also will have an oil and water separator filtration system to catch any possible debris.

“Anything that gets washed, like the floor, will go through an oil and water separator that gets monitored once a month. Out in the parking lot, where our catch basins are, there is a very dense filtration system that drops down into the catch basin.

“So if any[thing] were to run over in the parking lot and pick up some oil or whatever, it would catch in that microfiber,” Wisham said.

First Choice’s architectural features were designed to be in tune with the residential area behind the building at Derby Run — the front of the building, facing Kingston Pike, and rear of the building, facing the apartments — will be all brick.

Four bays will be open all both sides of the building, facing Jefferson Federal Bank and CVS Pharmacy.

“It’ll be brick, metal roof, glass front,” Wisham said.

First Choice will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will be closed on Sundays. The repair shop also offers a customer shuttle and a three-year, 36,000-mile nationwide warranty.

“We really want to focus on the customer experience,” he said.

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