New chapter for car dealership

Feb. 1—ASHLAND — Mark Porter said the chance to add Kentucky to his list of car dealership locations was a "golden opportunity."

Known for his eye-catching attire as the "car fairy" in a flurry of commercials, Porter said that yes, indeed, he is a 6-foot-4, 270-pound man who isn't afraid to don a pair of wings and a pink tutu.

Porter is now the owner of what used to be known as Don Hall Chevrolet at the corner of 18th Street and Greenup Avenue in Ashland.

Workers were still getting accustomed to it on Thursday — the first official day as the new brand.

"Don Hall Chevrolet," the gentleman answered. He laughed and quickly acknowledged the honest mistake.

After about 60 years, Don Hall Chevrolet has now changed hands.

Mark Porter is no stranger to the vehicle-dealing business. He's a 47-year veteran in this line of work. This location is his fifth store. He has four in Ohio — a pair in Pomeroy and two in Jackson.

The acquisition began in June 2023.

Porter said Jill Rose, Don Hall's daughter, was ready to retire.

"We worked out an agreement for me to purchase the store," Porter said. "We're super excited. It fits well with our other stores. We've already been marketing in this area beforehand and, to have an opportunity to service the customers we were already doing a lot of business with in the first place was too good of an opportunity to pass up."

Mark Porter Chevrolet Buick GMC employs about 60 people currently, he said. He said the dealer retained about 96% of the Don Hall employees. Porter fully expects that staff list to expand to about 75 by mid-2024.

"Like my wife says, that's who rows our ship, our employees," Porter said. "Each day, the nervousness will be less. It's like, take a deep breath, give us a chance. ... We don't have much turnover in our stores."

Porter said the goal is to always stock a lot of inventory. Porter said people will notice they're "extremely aggressive to get you the best price."

"We're here to sell cars," he said.

He estimated probably 200-300 new vehicles in the next three or four months.

"We may have to have a few different blocks to put them in, but we will figure it out," he said. "... We're known for selling trucks. I'll have four-wheel-drive pickups in stock."

It's a family business, Porter said. Sons Chase and Chane Porter are vice presidents and "they run the stores," he said.

The five stores employ a total of about 280 people. The other four are a little closer to his Athens, Ohio, home. He's originally from Wheeling, West Virginia.

But, he said, he's "super excited" to have a presence in Kentucky now.

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