The proposed deal to sell the Santa Barbara Chrysler dealership to Leo Bunnin in Ventura has fallen through, owner Jim Crook said Monday after indicating he would have to close the business within 15 days.
“I’ve done everything I can,” Crook said. “I just can’t do any more.”
In August, Bunnin made a bid to buy the Santa Barbara Chrysler dealership at 6290 Hollister Ave. After two months of negotiating, Crook said a final deal could not be reached.
Crook, who said he has no other clear bidders for the Chrysler franchise, has been in the South Coast auto business for 31 years. He said tight credit during the past two years have made things difficult for him to continue with the Chrysler dealership.
Bunnin, who wasn’t immediately available for comment, started selling cars more than a decade ago with a Ventura Infiniti dealer.
Bunnin’s Ventura lot was the top-selling Buick-GMC dealership in the Western region, according to industry reports. The company also runs a Buick-GMC-Cadillac dealership in Simi Valley and a used-car center in Ventura.
If the deal had gone through, the Santa Barbara County dealership would be Bunnin’s first try at South Coast auto franchises.