Pumped up competition

Different to the usual chaos found at gasoline stations on the streets of Hanoi, the Idemitsu Q8 (IQ8) station at the capital’s Thanh Long Industrial Park, the first 100 per cent foreign-owned gas station in the country, is orderly and professional.  Local netizens fawned over the new gas station after photos appeared on Facebook showing a man, identified as General Director of IQ8 Hiroaki Honjo, standing in the rain and greeting every customer with a bow. Motor car drivers who have paid a visit to the gas station noted that staff also clean their windows and rearview mirrors while their vehicles are being filled. Change in business culture Mr. Honjo’s bow and IQ8’s commitment to accuracy within 0.01 liters caused a degree of debate on social media. According to experts, the presence of the first 100 per cent foreign-owned company in Vietnam’s retail gasoline sector is expected to create a more competitive market, where the sector has long been dominated by State-owned monopolies like Petrolimex, PVOil, and Saigon Petro.  IQ8 is a joint venture between Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Group and Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd (KPI), established in 2016. Each partner owns 50 per cent of charter capital.  The joint venture aims to develop a professional gasoline business in Vietnam in the years to come. Following this first gas station in Hanoi, IQ8 will expand to certain provinces in the south.  It is equipped with a system of automated station management software that allows card payments and the accurate management of… [Read full story]

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