Russia | Teboil’s gas stations are now disappearing one by one from the side of the road – Some entrepreneurs can’t get rid of their position, even if they want to

Faith in the future is being tested, says the chairman of Teboil traders. Some of the Teboil dealers have already changed sides.

One or two The Teboil dealer has changed camps during the summer and early autumn, because business in the colors of the boycotted Russian brand has been difficult.

When Russia attacked Ukraine, a strong Teboil boycott began in Finland, which gathered a large number of individuals, communities and companies behind it.

Teboil is owned by the Russian oil company Lukoil, which soon in the early stages of the war settled down to hope for an end to the war. It had no effect on the desire to boycott.

Some Teboil dealers had enough and stopped working with Lukoil.

At least these service stations have recently changed their color to domestic ones: Lahti’s Saksala Teboil is now an ST1 station, Tohmajärvi’s Teboil became SEO, Sysmä’s Teboil will also become SEO, the Teboil cold station that used to be in Jouni Kaupa’s yard in Äkäslompolo is now a Neste cold station.

The Teboil station in Kirkkonummi, on the other hand, is closed, but you can still buy fuel. Sammonkatu Teboil in Tampere also closed in the spring. Espoo’s Niittykummu Teboil announced its intention to close even before the war.

Now Teboil is looking for traders and entrepreneurs in 17 locations. There are 85 open stations, and Teboil also has 426 cold stations.

Merchants the situation is sad.

“The merchants feel that we have received undeserved negative attention. However, Teboil traders are quite ordinary Finnish private entrepreneurs who run a business and make a living for themselves and their employees, just like in any SME”, says the chairman of Teboil-kauppiaat ry Pekka Haapalainen. He is a trader at Itäväylän Teboil in Helsinki.

Read more: An intensifying boycott may lead to Teboil withdrawing from Finland, but selling the stations to competitors may be almost impossible

He reminds that at most Teboil stations, the trader’s business is based on the sale of restaurant, cafe, car wash and store products. Fuel sales are the oil company’s business.

In the spring, according to Haapalainen, positive feedback also started to come from customers who wanted to show their support for merchant entrepreneurs and their employees.

“Fortunately, the understanding that Teboil entrepreneurs have nothing to do with the problems arising from the oil company’s ownership began to spread among the customer base.”

If The Teboil dealer himself owns his property, giving up Teboil’s colors is possible depending on the agreement between the dealer and the oil company. Merchants who rent Teboil’s properties cannot change camp, says Haapalainen.

“In theory, an intensifying boycott could perhaps lead to Teboil withdrawing from Finland, but selling the stations, at least to competitors, might be almost impossible.”

The prospects of Teboil traders are now clouded by many factors.

“There are already a couple of exceptionally difficult years behind us. First there was Corona and then came the Russian attack, which we all absolutely condemn,” says Haapalainen.

“Now there will be severe inflation and an energy crisis, so we are indeed in a difficult situation and faith in the future is being tested

October brings yet another worry, because on October 9 the EU sanctions regulation comes into force, which stipulates that, for example, municipalities and the state may no longer acquire anything from companies that are more than 50 percent Russian-owned. It specifically hits the Russian-owned Teboil.

For example, the joint procurement company Hansel will suspend all its purchases from Teboil on October 10. Therefore, the Police Government recently decided that the police will no longer refuel at Teboil stations after October 9.

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