Car trade strategy

In car trade, Kesko aims to offer the best customer experience on the market and to strengthen its market position in both new and used cars and services. The division’s growth strategy is based on a strong partnership with the world’s leading car manufacturer the Volkswagen Group, more extensive utilisation of digitalisation, improved operational efficiency, and growing the sales of used cars and services.

K-Auto is a leading operator in Finnish car trade. The division’s operations comprise the import and sales of new cars, used car sales, extensive servicing, repairs and other services, and K-Lataus EV charging. K-Auto has over 1.2 million customers, served by over 1,000 professionals. The brands imported and sold by K-Auto are Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, Porsche and Bentley passenger cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Finland, and SEAT & CUPRA in the Baltics.

Sports trade became part of the car trade division from 1 April 2023, while it previously was part of the building and technical trade division.

Strategic focus areas

Our strategic objective is to be the leading operator in mobility services in Finland.

Business environment 

  • New distribution models bring significant reductions in total delivered cost
  • Electrification continues, customers are not clear on choices
  • Continued disruptions in supply chain
  • Digitalisation with focus on efficiency, major changes in buying behaviour
  • New competition arriving in Europe
  • Possible economic downturn and reduction in market demand

Strategic objectives 

  • The best customer experience in the business
  • Making car trade digital
  • Close collaboration with the Volkswagen Group
  • Cost-efficient business model
  • Growing used car sales
  • Actions to meet our ambitious sustainability goals
  • K-Auto the leading brand in the business
  • Utilising synergies within the whole K Group

Year 2022

Net sales for the car trade division decreased by 11.4% in 2022 and totalled €910,9 million. Net sales decreased due to availability issues with new cars. In line with our strategy, we continued measures to transform our operations and make them more efficient, and the division’s profitability improved, with a comparable operating margin of 5.3%. All three business areas – new cars, used cars, and services – were in profit.

The car trade market is changing rapidly due to electrification and consumer purchase behaviour being impacted by digitalisation. The market is subject to significant uncertainties, and issues related to lack of raw materials in particular continued to cause supply chain disruptions in 2022. 

All businesses in profit

General economic uncertainty and inflation had an impact on consumer purchase behaviour in 2022 also in car trade. First registrations of new cars were down by some 16% in Finland. K-Auto’s share of first registrations of new cars was 14.1% in 2022 (passenger cars and vans). The share decreased due to delays in car delivery times resulting from continued issues with car availability. Demand for new all-electric cars grew strongly. Together with that, regardless of power options, the consumers´ interest in more economical and environmentally friendly alternatives grew. The surge in electricity prices and related uncertainties caused public debate over different power options. All-electric cars represented by Kesko accounted for 20.5% of total all-electric car first registrations in Finland (passenger cars and vans). New car sales accounted for 54% of the division’s net sales.

Market demand for used cars also declined in 2022, but K-Auto outperformed the market in used car sales. Used car prices fluctuated significantly during the year. K-Auto’s purchases are made by its own purchasing unit that operates internationally. Used car sales accounted for some 25% of the division’s net sales.

Sales and profitability for the service business were at a good level. The business area comprises servicing, damage repair, spare parts, and K-Lataus. Services accounted for some 21% of the division’s net sales. The 206% sales growth for K-Lataus was particularly strong.

Our own leasing fleet comprises some 4,500 cars, making us one of the biggest car leasing service providers in Finland.

2022 Auto_net_sales.svg

Read more on achievements and strategy in Kesko's 2022 Annual Report. 

 

Markets

In 2022, there were 80,267 first registrations of passenger cars, 11,193 of vans, and 2,594 of trucks (over 6 tons) in Finland. The passenger car market decreased by 17.0% compared to the year before, while the market for vans decreased by 13.2% and the market for trucks (over 6 tons) decreased by 2.1%.

The total number of first registrations of passenger cars and vans imported by K-Auto was 12,855 (excluding motorhomes). The number of MAN trucks registered was 74.

Market shares

K-Auto’s market share of first registrations in Finland in 2022 was 14.1% (Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, Porsche and Bentley passenger cars and Volkswagen commercial vehicles, excluding motorhomes).

  • Volkswagen passenger cars 8.9%
  • Audi 3.4%
  • SEAT and CUPRA 1.0%
  • Porsche and Bentley 0.5%
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles 15.7%
  • MAN trucks 2.9% (over 6 tons)

Registration data source: Bun&Bradstreet/Traficom

 

Number of stores

Sales (pro forma)(VAT 0%), € million

Retail sales and number of stores

2022

2022

Change, %

Car trade, total

46

918.5

-11.5

 

Key figures

2022

2021

Net sales, € million

910.9

1,028.3

Operating profit, comparable, € million  

48.4

52.2

Operating margin, comparable

5.3

5.1

Return on capital employed, comparable, %

12.7

14.0

Capital expenditure, € million

44.7

71.2

Personnel, average

1,235

1,225

 

Properties

2022

2021

Owned properties, capital, € million

44

47

Owned properties, area, 1,000 m²

50

50

Leased properties, area, 1,000 m²

96

100

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