Industry Giant Blazes Downstream PathBy Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 12/17/2020 - 11:01
Q: How would you evaluate Mexico’s position in ExxonMobil’s global and Latin American portfolio?
A: ExxonMobil considers itself a company that supplies energy. In this context, the downstream business is the last mile toward the commercialization of that energy. We are very proud of our fuels and lubricants portfolio, which has position us as leaders in the industry with a very solid offer in the Mexican market. We truly believe that we contribute to the country’s energy security. As a result, we consider Mexico to be very important in our global and Latin American portfolio. This importance is only increasing as its downstream market continues to be further developed.
Q: What are the key aspects of Mexico's oil and gas industry that are defining ExxonMobil’s market and development strategy?
A: We began our journey in Mexico by developing our fuels business in 2017 but in the general downstream commercialization sector, we have been in Mexico for over a century. We began reserving our own space in third-parties’ independent terminals so we could import and store our own fuels, and then we began supplying Mobil-branded service stations with our products. Nowadays, there are more than 440 Mobil-branded service stations in Mexico, across 19 states. This step-by-step approach has allowed us to grow organically and let our distributors work with greater freedom. From day one, our objective has been to supply our own molecule. This is possible because ExxonMobil has a very sound network of refineries by the Gulf of Mexico US side. We could oversee the transportation of our products into a new distribution route in Mexico. The main challenge was the development of the storage and transportation infrastructure within Mexico to be able to reach out to the Mexican consumers at competitive prices. Mobil-branded service stations are exclusively supplied with our Synergy products. We are very proud of how much progress we have made in these first three years.
Q: What is the structure of ExxonMobil’s growth strategy in Mexico?
A: We see many opportunities because companies are relaunching their businesses. Our brand has been resilient and has embraced the current situation. Mobil brand customers appreciate that we turn a transaction into a brand experience and that has been very important to us; that’s why recovery can be attributed to the name of our brand. Our brand experience is related to the quantity and quality of fuels that customers expect. In that regard, we implemented a program called “Guaranteed Fuel,” which builds a commitment to our customers that they will get what they pay for, in terms of quantity and quality, and that whatever promise we make to them is backed up by an independent laboratory. Customer service that Mobil-branded service stations offer is essential. We hope these factors appeal more Mexican consumers to our brand.
Q: What criteria determines the locations and states in which you open new service stations?
A: At first and foremost, we were focused on the proximity to our supply lines, distribution hubs and networks. This includes five third-party independent terminals in which we have rented out storage space, located in Salinas Victoria, in Nuevo Leon, one in San Luis Potosi, two in Guanajuato and one in Tula, Hidalgo. We have expanded in the central and Bajio states, and today customers can find Mobil-brand service stations in 19 states. We also chose these locations because our downstream products, such as lubricants, previously had been sold in those states. In this process, we have been guided by our brand equity, which is quite powerful at a global level and Mexico is certainly a part of that global scope. Not only Mexican fuel consumers are getting used to developing new habits but also, with many available brands, they are developing new criteria and making different choices. We are committed to offering quantity and quality of fuel to the customers that are paying for it. The best service experience in Mobil-branded service stations has proven that customers get extra value.
ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products. In 2017 the company established a presence in the Mexico’s recently opened and highly competitive fuels market. Competitors include Shell, BP and Chevron.