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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:08 pm | Fair 49º


Bunnin Automotive Group Making Bid for Santa Barbara Chrysler Dealership

Lot owner Jim Crook says it's soon to tell whether the deal will go through, and no layoffs are planned

The owner of the Chrysler dealership in Santa Barbara said Wednesday that Ventura County-based Bunnin Automotive Group is making a bid for the decades-old business, which is up for sale.

However, Santa Barbara Chrysler Jeep Dodge owner Jim Crook told Noozhawk that it’s too soon to tell whether the deal will go through at this point.

Crook, who has run the dealership for 31 years, has expressed concern about the tight credit lines, and said the past two years have proven extremely difficult.

Earlier this month, vehicles were removed from the lot at Chrysler Jeep Dodge Hyundai, at 6290 Hollister Ave., but the parts and service departments were still open.

Leo Bunnin started selling cars more than a decade ago with a Ventura Infiniti dealer. He built his reputation in the past 10 years with the Bunnin GM Supercenter in Oxnard, which sells Buick, GMC and Cadillac. That lot was the top-selling Buick-GMC dealership in the Western region, according to industry reports. The company also runs Bunnin Buick GMC Cadillac in Simi Valley and a used-car center in Ventura.

If the deal goes through, the Santa Barbara County dealership would be Bunnin’s first crack at Chrysler Group and Hyundai franchises.

Crook has said no layoffs of the nearly 20 employees at the dealership were planned.

Noozhawk contributor Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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