With the opening of three non-Pemex gas stations this week in Merida, Campeche and Mexico City, Mexico’s ubiquitous nationalized oil company now has competition for the first time in nearly eight decades.
And soon, many more private stations will be opening on the highways and city streets of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche and throughout Mexico.
Two companies collectively opened three gas stations under their own brands, breaking one of the state-owned petroleum company’s last monopolies. Opening the retail sector to competition was part of energy reforms passed in 2014.
Mexico’s Hidrosina opened a re-branded Pemex gas station under its own name this week in Mexico City, and Mexican company La Gas opened a station in Campeche and another in Merida. Both will sell Pemex gasoline.
“With the collaboration of Pemex we signed an agreement to use a different brand and test the success that may or may not work for the clientele,” said Victor Ruiz Iriarte, director of operations for Grupo Hidrosina.
Hidrosina was founded in 1992, and as a concessionaire has since operated more than 30 gas stations in Mexico City and the rest of the republic under the Pemex name.
“This is the first test we want to do with 20 stations this year and next year in Mexico City,” Ruiz Iriarte added.
Meanwhile, U.S.-based Gulf Oil announced it would open its first four gas stations in Mexico between June and July.
Mexico’s oil industry was nationalized in 1938, but recent reforms aim to attract private investment to bolster the country’s falling crude production.
Emilio Loret de Mola Gomory, CEO of Lodemo Group and spokesman for the new franchise La Gas, reported that this new brand started with two service stations beginning operations in the center of the city of Campeche and in Merida’s North Periferico.
While La Gas will brand and operate its stations, Pemex will continue to provide the fuel.
La Gas is a joint venture of five Mexican gasoline groups: Corpogas, Enerkom, Hidrosina, LodemoRed and Corporate GES. Together, they have 600 service stations in the country and already have 25 signed contracts to change identity of 25 service stations in Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, in the next 45 days.
Heading for the release of the gasoline market in the country, which would be realized in 2018 with the release of price and that began last April with the legalization of imports of gasoline, the gasoline station groups seek to start the competition with the diversification of services .
These new stations will offer experiences such as wireless, online billing schemes, selling products and services in establishments like Go Mart and incentives such as loyalty cards for its customers, plus a personalized treatment by attendants.
Hidrosina’s plans include opening 20 more stations this year in Mexico City, Morelos and the State of Mexico.
Hidrosina has several agreements to increase the competitiveness of its services, including the payment center with Master Card, the discount sale of additives Quaker State, convenience stores Circle K, and even the analysis of a first self-service station in partnership with Intel.