Fuel station giant drives into car sales
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, the world’s largest refiner, which is also known as Sinopec Corp, is foraying into auto sales, based on its nationwide fuel station network.
One of Sinopec Corp’s fuel stations in Beijing has already sold its first car two weeks ago. It is currently cooperating with automobile e-commerce platforms for launching auto sales. It is also keen to cooperate with more partners, including ecommerce companies, in the future. The company, which had set up pilot projects to sell cars in Hunan and Hebei provinces last year, said the most prominent feature of its car sales efforts is the unique shopping experience marked by convenience.
Experts believe Sinopec Corp can benefit from its extensive petrol station network, and its involvement in the automobile sector will alter the market pattern at a time when competition is intensifying.
“This is a great opportunity for Sinopec Corp to gain market share as China has got rid of a monopoly-like situation in the vehicle sales segment,” said Zhao Ping, director of the international trade research department at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
“Compared with its convenience store business, selling automobiles has more added value.”
According to Zhao, Sinopec Corp’s car sales foray is part of its efforts to expand its non-oil business and diversify its portfolio, which will in turn improve its operational capacity.
“Selling automobiles and
Cars refuel at a Sinopec gas station in Qingdao, Shandong province.