Robert Crews hopes to drive Chevrolet sales at a new North Charleston dealership.

The owner of Subaru and Saturn of Charleston is taking over the site at 8199 Rivers Ave. left vacant last month when Marathon Chevrolet pulled out.

Crews said the deal became official last week and they already are remodeling the showroom.

The new dealership, to be called Crews Chevrolet, hopes to open July 17 with a fleet of 250 new cars and 150 pre-owned vehicles on the lot.

"We couldn't be more excited," Crews said.

The site came open after Marathon Chevrolet owner Steve Jacobs decided not to pursue an appeal of General Motor's decision last year to terminate franchise agreements with 1,100 of its dealers by October as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Instead, Jacobs moved to his former Summerville store as Marathon Automotive to specialize in collision repair work, parts sales, and pre-owned car and truck sales and service.

Crews plans to move his remaining Saturn cars and service to the new facility and employ 65 at the dealership

It will include service and a body shop that will open Aug. 1 on the 12-acre site.

The Subaru dealership, which sits next door, will keep about 35 employees.

About 15 will transfer to the Chevrolet dealership.

The building in which the Chevrolet dealership will be housed is owned by automobile mogul Gene Reed. Crews is leasing the facility.

Crews said he was crushed when the deal to keep General Motors-owned Saturn in production failed last year but he kept his options open with GM representatives.

They wanted Chevrolet to have a presence in North Charleston where other car dealers are concentrated, he said. The closest Chevrolet dealerships are in West Ashley and Moncks Corner.

"If a customer goes shopping for a car, we have several options right here together," Crews said of the cluster of nearby dealerships on Rivers Avenue.

He added that the automobile industry has gone through drastic change during the past 18 months and he's happy to have the opportunity to adapt with a new product line.

The Saturn sign will disappear from his current dealership after the move is finalized and the Subaru sign will replace it.

"General Motors is hoping a lot of Saturn owners will move into the new-style Chevrolets," Crews said. "The new Chevrolet product is sharp and fuel-efficient."