February 8, 1991 |
Chrysler Credit Corp. on Thursday shut down three money-losing dealerships operated by Pete Ellis, a high-profile businessman in Southeast Los Angeles County, another sign of weakness in the nation's recession-wracked automobile industry. Ellis, whose dealerships have been the leading producer of tax revenue for South Gate, is also known for his commercial jingles directing car buyers to "Long Beach Freeway, Firestone Exit, South Gate."
July 16, 1993 |
Who can forget the jingles that Pete Ellis used to bring customers to his car dealerships: the grating voices of small children singing again and again of the "Long Beach Freeway, Firestone Exit, South Gate." Those commercials disappeared with the businesses. Ellis' new-car dealerships in South Gate and Bellflower fell victim to the recession in 1991. Now Ellis is back. On Saturday, a used-car lot called Pete Ellis Auto Center will open on Costa Mesa's automobile row, Harbor Boulevard.
June 16, 1991 |
The sudden closure last week of Pete Ellis Ford, three months after the City Council gave Ellis $700,000 to help keep his last auto dealership open, has sent Bellflower officials scrambling to figure out what happened and what it might mean to the city. "Whatever happened, happened a lot faster than we thought," City Administrator Jack A. Simpson said. Ford officials have told the city that it would like to reopen the dealership soon, he said.
July 16, 1993 |
Pete Ellis' radio jingles used to urge customers to follow the "Long Beach Freeway, Firestone exit, South Gate" to his car dealerships. Those businesses collapsed, victims of the recession, along with his Ford dealership in Bellflower. But now, two years later, Ellis is back. On Saturday, a used-car lot called Pete Ellis Auto Center will open on Costa Mesa's automobile row, Harbor Boulevard.
February 11, 1994 |
The Pete Ellis Auto Center debuted last summer as a bold and unusual used-car lot. Prices were non-negotiable, sales people were paid a set salary instead of commissions, and none of the models were older than five years. But less than seven months after its arrival on Costa Mesa's automobile row, the dealership shut its doors. The last of the cars were cleared off the now-vacant lot this week.
February 10, 1991 |
Just before 3 p.m., employees of Pete Ellis' three sprawling auto dealerships were told to shut down the service bay, turn off the telephone switchboards and gather in the Dodge showroom. When they arrived they knew something was wrong--Ellis' secretary was in tears. In a somber speech, his voice cracking with emotion, Ellis told more than 100 employees Thursday that he was immediately closing his Chrysler/Plymouth, Jeep/Eagle and Dodge dealerships in South Gate.