KAR Global units to terminate 48 employees in Plainfield

Carmel-based KAR Global’s wholesale vehicle auction and financing units in Plainfield are cutting 48 jobs due to COVID-19.

ADESA and Automotive Finance Corp., both located at 2950 E. Main St. in Plainfield, notified the state this week that they plan to permanently terminate a total of 48 employees on Aug. 1. A third of the workers are listed as drivers.

Kathy Hopkins, general manager of ADESA Indianapolis, attributed the cuts to the pandemic’s impact on business.

“We did not see how significantly and for how long a time the epidemic and related government lockdown orders would impact our business,” Hopkins wrote in a letter to the state. “Nor did we see that these events would greatly impact our business not merely for a short period, but now for the foreseeable future.”

KAR decided to phase out virtual and physical auctions in mid-March to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of June 10, each of the 74 ADESA locations were still limiting their operations to virtual auctions, and a majority of the sites were requiring appointments for vehicle previews.

KAR furloughed about 11,000 of its 15,300 employees in April. KAR Global CEO Jim Hallett said during a May conference call with industry analysts that employees would be called back as volumes increase.

Tobin Richer, KAR Global’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in a written statement that KAR has made reductions in several areas to reflect an ongoing transition to a more-digital operating model.

“In response to the pandemic, we accelerated a number of technology and operational initiatives that resulted in the deployment of new products and services as well as efficiencies in both our corporate and field operation,” Richer said. “We remain focused on serving the needs of our customers and are well positioned to navigate the recovery and advance our strategy for growth.”

Shares in KAR Auction Services Inc., which does business as KAR Global, were down 8% Friday afternoon, to $13.77 each.

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