Market for car trade has weakened materially – K Auto Oy and K Caara Oy to initiate codetermination negotiations with personnel

The market situation for the Finnish car trade weakened materially during the first half of 2019. Due to the significant change in the market situation, K Auto Oy, which imports cars, and K Caara Oy, which engages in car retail, will initiate statutory codetermination negotiations with personnel representatives. It is estimated that the negotiations may lead to the termination of the employment of 190 people at the most.

“During the first half of the year, new registrations of passenger cars in Finland decreased by more than 12% compared to the year before. This was due to factors such as uncertainty among consumers with regard to the technological transformation of the car industry, a marked increase in cars imported from abroad, and the implementation of WLTP emissions testing. Some of the factors are temporary, but we do not expect the market to return to its previous level in the near future. We therefore have to adjust our operations to the current circumstances,” says Johan Friman, President of K Auto Oy.

K-Auto has a profitable growth strategy, which it implemented during the first half of the year with acquisitions, among other things. 

“The acquisitions we have made have been important for the long-term success of K Auto Oy. However, they alone cannot ensure the competitiveness of our business going forward, we must also examine our organisational structure,” says Friman.  

Due to the changes, Kesko Group companies K Auto Oy and K Caara Oy will initiate statutory codetermination negotiations with personnel representatives, with the aim of adjusting personnel numbers and the organisation structure to the changed market situation. The negotiations concern the entire personnel of both companies, totalling nearly 1,500 people. It is estimated that the negotiations may lead to the termination of the employment of 190 people at the most. The negotiation procedure has been initiated on 13 August 2019.

The negotiators will attempt to find a solution with minimal impact on personnel numbers. In case of redundancies, solutions for people’s re-employment will be sought. In addition to a potential reduction in personnel numbers, the negotiations may lead to material changes in job descriptions and areas of responsibility and transfers to another position or unit.

“Codetermination negotiations such as these are always a difficult process for the personnel and we will do everything we can to support the personnel both during and after the negotiations. We will also work together with the personnel to try and find functional and responsible solutions to promote re-employment,” says Friman.

Further information:

Johan Friman, President, K Auto Oy,, tel. +358 105 338 451
Martti Muona, Managing Director, K Caara Oy,, tel. +358 105 333 310

K Group media desk (Mon-Fri 8-16), tel. +358 105 350 200,

K-Auto Oy imports and markets Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA and Porsche passenger cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Finland, and SEAT cars in Estonia and Latvia.
K Auto Oy also imports MAN trucks, MAN TGE vans and MAN and Neoplan buses into Finland. K-Auto also develops car-related multichannel services.

K-Auto’s retail company K-Caara is a major retailer of new and used vehicles and it offers servicing and after-sales services at its own outlets in 15 localities. K-Caara’s services also include the online sales of used cars, a store for lower price range used cars and leasing services for companies and private customers.