Tim Short quickly feels at home in Portsmouth

By Joseph Pratt - PDT Contributor

Tim Short Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Portsmouth has been a functioning part of the community for six months now and they say they are starting to feel right at home.

The business moved to the Offnere, formerly Ohio Automotive, formerly Oberlings, location after purchasing in April. They kept the employees on site and worked with them to keep their positions as the transfer happened. It was quickly obvious that the purchase fit the business model of Tim Short, a gentleman interested in providing vehicles to small towns. After looking into the Portsmouth area, they invested in the property, signed a long-term lease, and now promise they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Dean Wooton is the general manager of the store, with a history of happy employment with Tim Short, where he says he has worked at 9 of 18 stores in his 12 years with the company.

“Once Tim finds a location and invests in it, he is dedicated to making it work for his staff and the community we serve,” Wooton explained. “We are new to the area, but not new to the business, and we aren’t leaving this building vacant anytime soon.”

Tim Short locations are found in small cities throughout Appalachia and the rustbelt, which, according to Wooton, is a purposeful move.

“We are from a small community. We understand small communities and these are the men and women we want to serve,” Wooton explained.

The business is modeled to be an active part of the community and the staff has already proven they are here for their customers and community. In six months, they’ve donated to various causes and non-profits already, have donated vehicles for parade use, and have hosted a Business After Hours for the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce with the Portsmouth Daily Times.

“Tim Short Automotive has become a valuable community partner. Tim acquired the dealership and retained the jobs. Being a chamber member is important to him and that shows he cares about the community.”

Wooton said that his staff has also enjoyed their partnership with the Chamber.

“We have met a lot of nice folks through the Chamber of Commerce, especially through the Business After Hours we hosted. We had a lot of community members here and enjoyed providing the gathering and getting to know them,” Wooton said. “It was a very warm feeling; we were welcomed with open arms and we are already looking forward to the next one.”

The Portsmouth location has around 270 to 300 cars on the lot at all times, but customers have the benefit of the entire Tim Short family, a total network of over 5,000 vehicles to choose from.

Wooton explained that he and his staff can find the perfect vehicle for anyone, whether it is new or used.

“We are pretty much split down the middle of new and pre-owned vehicles. We have Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram new on the lot and a multitude of pre-owned vehicle makes,” Wooton explained. “We try to keep a nice selection at this location, but we also have 18 other locations we are connected to and can help locals find exactly what they’re looking for, likely at the price they want it at.”

Wooton also assures that pre-owned vehicles come with a promise of safety, saying that they go through a detailed inspection in the service department and are then only released to the lot once they are in their best possible condition.

“No matter how expensive the car may be, our customers can rest at ease, knowing their safety was considered and everything has been checked.”

The lot is also careful to consider the budget of the families they are assisting.

“In all my years at Tim Short, I am proud to say that I can’t recall a moment Tim or an employee pushed a sale onto a family that wasn’t right for them,” Wooton said. “There are three things I’ve never asked a customer to do. Number one, buy something they didn’t like; number two, miss work to spend money, because we will work around your schedule; and number three, go out of their budget to buy their car. We are human like anyone else and we understand the importance of keeping a budget, while having the freedom of a reliable car.”

Tim Short also has a quickly growing full-service garage for anyone experiencing issues or needing upkeep with their vehicle, from oil changes to engine work.

Oil changes are as low as $26.95, something that Wooton is proud of, saying it is a service they provide the community to keep people safely and reliably on the road.

The other public service that Wooton says Tim Short offers is assistance with any factory recall or service from a company they deal with, regardless of purchase location.

All cars 2009 and newer, under 90,000 miles, that aren’t a supercharge also come with a lifetime powertrain warranty, which Wooton says is a cornerstone of their good name and great service.

“Our vehicles are in very, very good shape and taken care of after the sale,” Wooton said. “We want to offer customers piece of mind in their car ownership.”

Tim Short Automotive Group is at 1202 Offnere Street, with walk-in hours between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Someone may be reached by phone at 740.250.2333. Wooton welcomes anyone to visit the lot to meet the staff and hear about the business, whether they are buying that day or wanting to know their new neighbors and their positive mission as a small town business.

“Our mission at the Portsmouth location is to be a part of this community, helping people find their perfect car and providing affordable services to maintain them once they have them,” Wooton

explained. “A car is everything to the working family, because it means freedom. It is opportunity to take care of family and work, transportation to school and football practice, or a quick way to a doctor appointment. We want to provide freedom for these families and keep them on the road until their kid grows up, starts driving, and then comes back to us, because they know they are safe in our hands for their child’s first vehicle.”


By Joseph Pratt

PDT Contributor