MEXICO CITY -- The first gas station in Mexico to fly a multinational oil flag opened its doors this month.
BP opened its first retail fueling site in Mexico in early March as part of its opening salvo into the country’s newly deregulated fuel market. The first BP-branded location, in the middle-class, suburban Satelite area of Mexico City, is the first of about 1,500 retail sites the major oil plans to open in Mexico over the next five years.
This would also reportedly mark the first fueling location in Mexico to be operated and branded by a multinational oil company, as well as the first not supplied by its state oil company Pemex, since the country began deregulating its fuel market in 2013.
“BP’s retail strategy is focused on delivering a strong, differentiated offer built around top-quality fuels, lubricants and convenience for consumers in growing markets worldwide,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO of BP Downstream. “We are delighted to be the first international oil company serving Mexican consumers in what is the sixth-largest consumer gasoline and diesel market globally.”
BP plans to open about 200 branded retail sites in Mexico in 2017, including a mix of dealer and company-owned and -operated locations. The major oil said its new Mexico locations will have “inviting” convenience stores and full-service fueling islands. BP fuels will feature the Active technology, a new additive package that protects vehicle engines; it is available only in Mexico.
"BP’s retail offer is already well-known in the U.S. and Europe for high-quality fuels, Castrol lubricants and a great convenience offer,” said Alvaro Granada, general manager of BP Downstream for Mexico. “We are delighted to bring our BP-branded fuel and convenience offer to consumers for the first time here in Mexico and look forward to opening more BP stations throughout the country and creating thousands of new retail jobs in the process."
At a grand opening of the Satelite BP gas station, company officials said BP’s retail sites would charge “market prices" for fuel, because the Mexican government is still gradually phasing out price controls. BP plans to use customer service as a differentiator rather than low fuel prices, Reuters reported.
BP is investing "several hundreds of millions of dollars" in Mexico on the retail sites and terminals and pipelines, Granada said at the grand opening. The retail locations will be a combination of new builds and former Pemex franchised locations.
The Satelite BP is a former Pemex site. According to Mexico News Daily, BP has acquired and is rebranding two additional Pemex gas stations in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztapalapa and Coyoacan.
This is not BP’s first foray into the Mexican market; it has sold and distributed lubricants there for the past 50 years.
London-based BP has more than 18,000 branded fueling sites in 19 countries.