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Bellflower : Deal to Reopen Ford Auto Lot Collapses at Last Minute

February 20, 1992

A deal to reopen the Pete Ellis Ford sales lot in Bellflower has fallen through, Ford officials announced.

The dealership, which the financially strapped Ellis abruptly closed last June, was expected to be selling cars again under a new name by April.

Richard Basile, market representation manager for the Ford Motor Division's Los Angeles region, declined to say why the deal with a Milwaukee, Wis., dealer collapsed. He said he was "a little surprised this didn't work out," but added, "I've seen projects fall apart at the last minute. This thing sort of did that."

The collapse disappointed Bellflower officials, who had been counting on the reopened dealership to boost city sales tax revenue.

"We were licking our chops, but I guess we'll have to wait a little longer," said Linda Lowry, assistant city administrator and finance director.

Bellflower lost $400,000 in annual sales tax revenue when two big auto dealers failed last year. Carmen Koosa Toyota, which was located across the street from Ellis alongside the Artesia Freeway (91), also went out of business.

Basile said he is considering three other prospective dealers for the Ellis site. Meanwhile, Joe Cefaratti, the city's auto consultant who is working to bring new dealers to Bellflower, said he is talking to a Hong Kong firm about buying both the Ellis and Koosa sites for an automobile dealership.

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