JOLIET – Bill Jacobs car dealerships in Joliet are in the process of being sold, according to a statement from the owner.
A completion of the deal will likely mark the end of the longest lasting dealership brand in Joliet. Bill Jacobs Chevrolet goes back to 1955.
In a letter to employees, Linda Jacobs described the last four and a half years as having been "extremely difficult" since the death of her husband, Bill Jacobs Jr.
According to the letter, Bill Jacobs Chevrolet, Cadillac, Mazda and Subaru would be sold to John Crane, president and part-owner of the Hawk Auto Group. Hawk bought D'Arcy Volkswagen in December.
Bill Jacobs Kia would be sold to Scott Falcone, owner of World Hyundai in Matteson.
Crane on Monday said he could not comment on the matter. Falcone could not be immediately reached for comment.
Both Crane and Falcone live in Will County. Crane lives in Homer Glen. According to the World Hyundai website, Falcone lives in Frankfort.
In her letter, Jacobs said sale agreements have been submitted to the manufacturers.
Jacobs said the death of her husband "left me in charge of his estate and the business."
"I quickly found myself responsible for running several complex car dealerships with hundreds of employees, dealing with multiple car manufacturers concerned about the dealerships and fighting with lenders demanding repayment on all of the company and personal debt," the letter states. "Needless to say, it was an overwhelming and exhausting experience."
Jacobs added, "Many presumed that I would sell as soon as Bill passed. In fact, I have had many offers from individuals who tried to persuade me they would take good care of the family legacy. But I said no because I wasn't convinced that they would or could preserve the Jacobs legacy."
She said both Crane and Falcone are successful and respected. Jacobs also noted that Crane "has a deep connection with Joliet."
"My family has a long history in the car business and in Joliet," Crane said.
His father was sales manager at two Joliet dealerships – John Bays Toyota, which is now Thomas Toyota, and Rich Crandall Chrysler-Plymouth.