Fuel sta­tion gi­ant drives into car sales

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Cars re­fuel at a Sinopec gas sta­tion in Qing­dao, Shan­dong province.

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