How Mark Wahlberg suddenly landed in car dealership business

Jamie L. LaReau | Detroit Free Press

Movie star and businessman Mark Wahlberg is getting into the car business with the help of a metro Detroit car dealer.

Jay Feldman, a veteran Chevrolet dealer, is partnering with Wahlberg to launch Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet in Columbus, Ohio, at a location formerly called Bobby Layman Chevrolet.

“The Wahlberg brand is all about Americana,” Feldman, president and CEO of Feldman Automotive, which has eight dealerships throughout southeast and mid-Michigan, said in a media statement.

Feldman and Wahlberg, both 47, have been friends for several years and recently became business partners in a Wahlburgers restaurant in Cleveland, as well as the master Wahlburgers franchise for the state of Georgia. That includes the Wahlburgers in the Battery/Sun Trust Park where the Atlanta Braves play.

A Chevrolet dealership seemed like a natural next step, a spokeswoman said.

Feldman and Wahlberg began searching for the dealership early last year. The Columbus opportunity emerged later in the year. They plan to open additional dealerships together in the future.

“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.”