Beford hopes to expand

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

SOUTH POINT — Mark Beford says that when he bought South Point Ford, he wanted to do more than simply sell cars. He wanted to give back to the community through support of local charities, schools and economic development organizations.

Beford and his wife, Connie, recently bought the dealership on U.S. 52 — now called Beford South Point Ford — for $2.3 million from the Norse family, who had owned it since the death of its original owner, R.H. Peters, in 1999.

“It has always been my intention to have it (the dealership),” said Beford, who had previously served as general manager for six years. “I’ve tried several times to buy them out. They wouldn’t even partner with me, so I told them if I couldn’t buy it, I would move on to another dealership. They took the offer.”

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The Befords are by no means new to the auto business; they are the owners of Bedford Family Owned Auto Supercenter in St. Albans, W.Va. Their latest venture is something that is very near and dear to their hearts, though, Beford said.

“We really love it here. We have always been very supportive of community projects. We’ve supported South Point athletics, schools and we’ve been part of the county fair every year,” Beford explained.

Although currently living in Ceredo, W.Va., the Befords are planning to move to Lawrence County soon.

He said most of the dealership’s 36 employees live within 10 miles of the dealership.

“We have always believed in keeping the money here in the county. Many times when a place is owned by someone in Columbus, that money is going to Columbus,” Beford said.

Customers will not see many changes at the dealership. In fact, Beford said he believes in the old adage “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“You hear about industries leaving and other bad economic news, but we’ve had the best year we’ve ever had,” he explained.

In fact, the Befords are planning to expand their operations and open up another used dealership in Lawrence County. They currently have a selection of over 200 new and used cars and offer a full service and parts department. They are also the only dealership in the Tri-State to sell Saleen Mustangs, one of the fastest American-made cars on the road.