Leading Player Enters the Fuels SpaceWed, 01/18/2017 - 11:48
Q: How is ExxonMobil differentiating itself from other brands coming into Mexico?
A: We started evaluating the Mexican market as soon as the Energy Reform was enacted. We conducted market research to understand the needs of final consumers in Mexico and of the Mexican businessmen who own gas stations and to understand the areas of opportunity so we could satisfy their needs and excel beyond their expectations. With that research concluded, we designed a special offer for Mexico, including an investment commitment of US$300 million over the next 10 years. The strategy for the investment and time relies on three elements. The first and second elements relate to logistics development and product inventory, both of which will ensure a reliable and constant supply of our product. The third element consists of branding and marketing that reflects our Synergy Gasoline product and our special programs that ensure a supreme service.
Q: How is ExxonMobil working to deliver the logistics development and product inventory elements?
A: Designing the infrastructure and product inventory strategy included exhaustive studies and planning. Mexico is in great need of infrastructure. Projections suggest that Mexico will continue growing and to satisfy the accompanying demand there has to be more investment in logistics and infrastructure but that has not happened yet. There are some projects being planned but only a few have started to lay steel on the ground. Developers need commitment because projects require big investments and it takes time to see the results materialize. ExxonMobil’s strategy is to offer a long-term commitment to enable, facilitate and support investment in key logistics projects. Through our commitment with infrastructure developers we are going to have a partner in the terminals and have a guaranteed and constant supply. This strategy is a result of our knowledge from other markets where we learned that it is not necessary to own the terminal but to have a professional midstream partner to own and operate the terminal and with which you can make a commitment that enables fuel supply.
Q: How is ExxonMobil guaranteeing the product and service offering at gas stations?
A: ExxonMobil will not own any service station but will establish relationships with local businessmen to provide our products in an efficient and reliable way to final customers. Our Synergy fuel technology consists of a proprietary additive package added to the fuel. Synergy was recently launched in other markets around the world. It will be launched in Mexico from the first day the service station is established. The fact that we have announced the presence of this product in Mexico will make a great difference in the market.
Another part of our investment went toward creating an appealing and refreshing image that will be inviting to the customer. For ExxonMobil a marketing program involves more than advertising. It consists of three points that will help our partners meet and exceed customer expectations, therefore increasing the number of customers coming into their facilities. The first is the Guaranteed Fuel program, which originates at ExxonMobil laboratories and includes inspection visits to retail stations to ensure the quality and quantity being offered to consumers through certifications. The second program is designed for the station owners and consists of training programs for their pump attendants, to ensure they offer a supreme service and invite the final consumer to choose upgrades and additives. The third program is the mystery shopper, which consists of an unidentified consumer who will come to the station and film the whole experience, from the service offered to the appearance of the facilities. The goal is to ensure a consistent image.
Q: What are ExxonMobil’s plans in Mexico?
A: The first milestone for 2017 was the announcement that we are entering the fuels space. The next milestone is opening the service station, which will happen before the end of the year. For the long term we want to be a player that enables logistics investment across the country and brings choice to consumers. We are coming to Mexico for the long term.