Pemex to go retro with new network of gas stations

Mexico's state oil company will look to exploit nostalgia through a retro 1950s design in its new gas stations

Pemex to go retro with new network of gas stations
Pemex will open over 500 new gas stations - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 02/10/2019 16:49 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 17:08

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Mexico’s oil company Pemex will go back to the 1940s or 1950s. The network of over 500 service stations that the oil company is about to launch will have the design of those times.

It is a retro model “that will seek to exploit nostalgia and sentimentality from the golden era, adapting the current design to develop a concept of vintage gas station,” said the company at the presentation of the model to potential investors that would like to work in the stations that allude to good past times and that can live in areas that share the same architectonic style.

The 500 planned gas stations “will be an iconic model, only for geographical areas that present such conditions, like Magical Towns.”

They are also assessing to use a logo that was used in the past: one of the past logos of the company could be the one to represent the new Pemex network.

EL UNIVERSAL had access to the vintage design of the stations that are planned to be open in 2020 and with which the company intends to compete with its own franchise and the new foreign firms operating in the country.

Strengths and opportunities
Pemex argued to investors that it sees strengths and opportunities in this new concept on the sale of fuels.

As for strengths, it identified the novelty and nostalgia for all things retro that is a trend nowadays; a concept that can work in places like Magical Towns; that brings authenticity among modernity, and that can become a referential icon of the area where the gas station is located.

Among the opportunities are the acceptation and intention toward this concept from consumers; leveraging from an “antique” model as a differentiating element; being an iconic referent, and exploiting geographical areas of the country with nostalgic touches to become part of a harmonious environment.

Weaknesses and threats
Nevertheless, there are also weaknesses and threats to the proposal.

In the first line, Pemex identified that there are global-scale concepts that are only used in museums, film staging, cafés, and hotels, but do not represent a business model; and by not having an architectural style for this business prototype, they require economic resources and time for hiring a firm or agency to do the conceptual and construction design; high construction costs to replicate equipment from the time that adapts to current technology, and the need for a standard retro image by defining the period that would be replicated.

Regarding the threats, Pemex warns that there could be a loss of interest on the retro trend, for all trends are cyclic; the advance of new mobility energies will make gas stations obsolete or inconsistent with the image, so the future of the image is unknown; doubts to obtain suppliers of equipment that simulates an old station, and the possible association of the audience toward what is “old” that could have an impact both the company’s image and the new administration.

The decision of Pemex having bigger participation in the market of oil commercialization, according to official information that was spread among interested companies and businessmen, comes from “the current market conditions in which Pemex has been losing brand presence in service stations in different parts of the country.”

To counter this loss, address the transformation processes of the new federal administration, and fulfill the promise of having stations of its own, Pemex decided to dabble in the operation of gas stations of its own brand.

Quality and innovation
The objective of the project, according to an officer of Pemex Transformación Industrial (TRI) subsidiary in charge of creating the new network of service stations, “is to be able to differentiate the experience of the brand in this new stations of its own operation, guaranteeing quality, honesty, innovation, and service.”

For it, they plan Pemex to be the company “to develop the project, construction/renovation, operation, and promotion of the new stations with the objective of guaranteeing its best implementation.”

This means that the scheme Pemex will use, which already started with the bidding of a first station that will be built in Condesa borough in Mexico City, will be to buy lands and build the gas stations.

The administration will be bid among third parties under the contractual arrangement of renewable awarding permit, the same that has been used by Mexico City’s government for the adjudication of spaces under bridges.

4T hallmark
In addition, Pemex wants to make a visual differentiation, that is, for the citizen to identify those stations belong to Pemex; that they must be a referent for the best national practice linked to the 4T for the rescue of sovereignty.

To be a referent of service, better prices for consumers, and honesty in the supplying of full liters of gasoline.

All in all, Pemex looks to offer a service that differentiates it from the rest of the franchisees and other brands.