Chevron (Thailand) Co, one of Thailand's oldest oil traders, is rebranding its Caltex service stations as part of its plans to expand business and increase sales in Thailand.
‘‘We’re ready to grow our business in this country despite stiff competition,’’ says Mr Bendeck.
"The rebranding programme aims to change public perception on Caltex and reiterates our commitment to grow our business in Thailand," said Chevron's country chairman and general manager Adrian Bendeck.
Chevron entered Thailand in 1948 to do oil trading business. It later expanded into oil refining, exploration and production.
"This year will be another big move of marketing campaigns and sales promotion of San Ramon-based Caltex in four years," he said. "We want to also communicate to the public that we're ready to grow our business in this country despite stiff competition," said Mr Bendeck.
The rebranding cost is not disclosed.
According to Mr Bendeck, the company plans to add 100 Caltex service stations by 2015 from 450 at present. Of the total new pumps, 30 are expected to be operational this year.
Each outlet is estimated to cost about 30 million including decoration cost.
The new filling stations would be mostly invested by retail investors while the company is committed to contributing five million baht to each.
Despite the highly competitive oil retail business in Thailand, Chevron expected to achieve its goal of increasing its market share to 10% by 2015 from 8% at present.
According to Mr Bendeck, the service stations will be renovated to have a brighter forecourt, brightened pump islands as well as new, clear and more attractive signage.
The company kicked off a re-imaging programme last year to improve customer experience. It plans to have 80-100 service stations renovated by the end of the year.
To generate more income from non-fuel businesses, Caltex is currently working with retail chain partners such as operators of convenient stores, car care service, coffee shops, etc. on a co-branding strategy to meet increasing consumer demand.
Most recently, Caltex announced a retail partnership with Central Food Retail Company, the largest supermarket chain operator in Thailand, to open at least 10 Tops Daily mini-supermarket branches at Caltex service stations. The number will increase to 100 outlets within five years.
" We will work closely with our retailers to support them including staff training, integrated marketing communication to enhance brand and product awareness and promotion activities to boost sale revenue."
Mr Bendeck added Chevron remains committed to helping Thailand meet its increasing demand for energy.
However, pressure on oil companies to keep fuel prices low despite high operating costs and volatile international crude and product prices, as well as steep subsidies for the LPG transport sector, have made the fuel marketing environment extremely challenging.
These factors could lead to an unintended consequence of discouraging any significant new investments.
Mr Bendeck added that in order to enable the industry to cover its operating costs, the marketing margin will need to be raised to 1.80 baht.
"The retail fuel marketing margin which is currently at 1.50 baht, has on numerous occasions, come under one baht. The exceptionally low margin makes it impossible for us to cover our operating costs. Moreover, movements of pump prices should be determined by market mechanisms so as to maintain a truly competitive environment."
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter