Actor Mark Wahlberg buys Chevy dealership in Ohio


Jay Feldman and Mark Wahlberg are partnering to open Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet

Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg, known for both hit movies and his entrepreneurial efforts in the restaurant and nutrition supplements industries, is getting into the car business.

Wahlberg teamed up with friend and longtime Chevrolet dealer Jay Feldman to buy a Chevy dealership in Columbus, Ohio. In a deal that closed Thursday, the pair bought Bobby Layman Chevrolet, which is renamed Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet, effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“It was a dealership that came up that had a great facility, that had a great reputation,” Feldman told Automotive News. “It’s in Ohio, where Mark and, of course, myself are invested in another business.”

Feldman, who said he met Wahlberg while the actor was in Detroit in 2013 filming the fourth installment of the Transformers movie franchise, is a partner with the celebrity in a Wahlburgers restaurant in Cleveland and the Wahlburgers master franchise for the state of Georgia.

Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet

Wahlberg and Feldman had been looking to buy a dealership together since early 2017. They learned about the Bobby Layman opportunity from buy-sell advisory firm Tim Lamb Group later that year, Feldman said.

The 70,000-square-foot dealership sits on 15.5 acres, includes a two-story showroom and has 50 service stalls. The staff of about 100 employees will be retained, but Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet will hire more sales representatives and service technicians. Feldman said he and Wahlberg will look to build on the store’s success and may add other dealerships in the market.

Wahlberg, a car fan with a big garage, has several business holdings including a movie production company, the Wahlburgers restaurant chain and nutrition supplements company Performance Inspired Nutrition. He also is a partner in the AQUAhydrate bottled water line.

“I am continuously looking for ways to innovate my brand and engage in businesses I am passionate about,” Wahlberg said in a statement. “I love cars, and the chance to work with an experienced, proven dealer-operator like Jay and represent an iconic brand like Chevrolet inspired me to get involved.”

Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet

Feldman will serve as dealer principal of Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet, but Wahlberg intends to actively participate.

“It’s not a naming rights deal. We’re partners,” Feldman said. “Mark is very involved in his businesses, whether it’s AQUAhydrate or Performance Inspired. I mean, he is like the ultimate entrepreneur and a workaholic. … He plans on being [at the dealership] on a regular basis.”

Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet is the ninth store for Feldman Automotive Group. Feldman operates five Chevrolet stores, a Kia dealership, a Hyundai dealership and a pre-owned store, all in Michigan.

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