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Pete Ellis

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BUSINESS
June 13, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO
Pete Ellis, once one of Southern California's most successful automobile dealers, on Wednesday shut down his last remaining dealership. Citing "unwarranted maneuvering" by the Ford Motor Credit Co., Ellis closed Pete Ellis Ford in Bellflower only three months after receiving $700,000 in loans and grants from Bellflower city officials. Ford Motor Credit also loaned Ellis $300,000, and Ellis kicked in about $150,000 of his own money to keep the operation alive.
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BUSINESS
January 25, 1999 | JONATHAN GAW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pete Ellis, the founder of the Internet auto shopping service Autobytel.com Inc. in Irvine, was paid $500,000 in severance when he stepped down in June to strengthen the company's credibility in the market, according to regulatory filings by the company. The disclosure was made this month in a report to regulators that the company issued in announcing its intention to raise $72 million in an initial public offering.
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NEWS
April 12, 1990
The City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, has entered into an agreement with automobile dealer Pete Ellis to develop an auto sales dealership in South Gate that officials said could produce more than $1 million in sales taxes in five years. Officials have agreed to help Ellis develop property at 5910 Firestone Blvd., which is the site of a former dealership. The site has been vacant since South Gate Hyundai moved in December.
BUSINESS
June 27, 1998 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Internet auto shopping service Auto-By-Tel Corp. said Friday that founder Pete Ellis has stepped down from his operating posts in a move to strengthen the company's credibility in the market. Mark Lorimer, formerly chief operating officer, will replace Ellis as president and chief executive. Michael Fuchs, former chairman of Time Warner's HBO and Warner Music subsidiaries and a major investor in Auto-By-Tel, will become chairman.
BUSINESS
February 8, 1991 | GEORGE WHITE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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."
BUSINESS
July 16, 1993 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
June 16, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
July 16, 1993 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
February 11, 1994 | SUSAN CHRISTIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
February 10, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO and LEE HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
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.
BUSINESS
February 1, 1997 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Auto-By-Tel Inc., which is mounting an aggressive and expensive campaign to become the nation's premier automobile marketer on the Internet, said Friday that it intends to go public and hopes to raise as much as $55 million with the initial stock offering. The company, started two years ago by a group that included Pete Ellis, a well-known former Southern California auto dealer, links shoppers with auto dealerships that typically offer special prices to customers who shop via the Internet.
BUSINESS
February 11, 1994 | SUSAN CHRISTIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
July 16, 1993 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
July 16, 1993 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
June 18, 1992
A new Ford dealership is preparing to open on the Pete Ellis Ford site in Bellflower a year after the flamboyant auto dealer abruptly went out of business. Ford West is hiring employees and refurbishing the 5.5-acre dealership alongside the Artesia Freeway (91) at Artesia Boulevard and Downey Road and plans to open about July 1, said Gary Premeaux, one of the three owners of the new Ford franchise. All were formerly associated with Ford and Toyota dealerships in Los Angeles.
NEWS
February 6, 1992 | GERALD FARIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Pete Ellis Bellflower auto dealership that closed abruptly last June after an attempt by the city to bail it out of financial difficulty is expected to be reopened in April by a Midwestern Ford dealer. Richard Basile, market representation manager for the Ford Motor Division's Los Angeles Region, said a new dealership for the 5.5-acre site alongside the 91 Freeway at Artesia Boulevard and Downey Avenue has been recommended by the Ford region.
NEWS
February 14, 1991 | LEE HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A spokesman for Chrysler Corp. said Tuesday that within 30 days it will reopen at least one of the three dealerships closed by Pete Ellis last week. Chrysler Credit Corp. said Ellis' Dodge, Jeep/Eagle and Chrysler-Plymouth-Hyundai were closed last Thursday because they were losing money. Don Stitt, Los Angeles zone sales manager for Chrysler, said the company plans to reopen the Dodge dealership. "We have the ability to reopen the Dodge store because we own the land.
NEWS
March 14, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The city will provide $700,000 in a federal loan and grant to help save the ailing Pete Ellis Ford franchise, one of the city's largest sources of sales-tax revenue. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to lend Ellis, once one of the Southeast area's top car dealers, $400,000 in interest-free federal funds and to give him a $300,000 federal community development block grant. In return, Ellis will provide a $400,000 share of the Pete Ellis Ford dealership as collateral.
NEWS
August 8, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The cars and trucks are gone now. Plastic streamers of pink, orange, green and yellow flutter languidly over the deserted lot. The giant "Pete Ellis FORD" sign towers over the 91 Freeway, its electronic signboard unplugged but still noticed by passing motorists. "People come by here every day," said a security guard watching over the empty lot from the shade of the service bay entrance. "They say, 'What happened?' " He shrugs. "I don't know; I just say they went out of business."
NEWS
June 16, 1991 | TINA GRIEGO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
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