In the next two months Mobil Oil will reinstall pay-at-the-pump features at the majority of its stations on Guam beginning in central Guam. “We know that a good share of our consumers want outdoor payment as a choice and many of our loyal customers and business associations have given us an ‘earful’ about our card reader ” said Jeffrey C. Borja president of Mobil Oil Guam Mobil Oil Marianas and Mobil Oil Micronesia.

The pay-at-the-pump option will be an added convenience for consumers who want to bypass the in-store cashier and pay directly at the pump. Essentially a consumer who is in a time crunch can save time by paying at the pump. Borja said the new feature will differ greatly from when it was first launched in the early 1990s. “Our new pay-at-the-pump will deploy communication enhancements that will improve transaction times for our customers.”

The new installation is part of Mobil’s continued effort to be the leading fuel provider in the Marianas. For 2003 the company ranked No. 2 in the Guam Business-Deloitte and Touche Top Companies in Micronesia with annual sales measured at more than $291 million. Competitor Shell Guam was ranked fourth with sales at more than $105 million and South Pacific Petroleum Corp. operator of 76 stations followed with reported sales at close to $39.5 million. (See “Top 50” in the fourth quarter issue of Guam Business)

“This is a competitive industry particularly when one sees a competitor construct a site several feet from our doorstep ” Borja said. He was referring to Shell Guam which recently positioned a new gas station in Dededo (Y-Seng-Song road) alongside a Mobil station in December 2004. With regard to the bold yet competitive move by Shell Guam Borja said “ We believe we have a superior location and our local customers have returned to appreciate the offers of our store. We look forward to spirited competition.”

Mobil has more than 70 gas stations Guam the Northern Mariana Islands and Palau. On Dec. 6 the company broke ground for a new service station in Kagman Saipan. According to Borja the new site “was a result of market plan reviews and feedback from the local community.” He added that the Mobil team continues to review the company’s network strength and recommend modifications or enhancement where economically viable.

Mobil does plan to increase its On the Run C-store upgrades in the coming years. Borja said the decisions to renovate existing locations will need to be made based on the numbers. “We are always looking for investments that make sense and as the economy continues to recover we will look for opportunities ” he said.

The On the Run concept was introduced to the Dededo Mangilao Sinajana and Tamuning stations in 2004. The On the Run stores comprise three distinct zones: food C-store and the transaction area. Borja said Mobil focused on merchandising consistency so that customers are familiar with product placement when they visit any one of the On the Run stores. “We have also placed extra emphasis on customer service to meet our fast fresh and friendly motto of the stores ” he said.

For 2005 Mobil will continue to focus on site execution given the asset improvements in 2004. While Borja said he cannot divulge marketing plans for the upcoming year he said “Whatever we do we will have the interests of our customers in mind while balancing the need for economically viable programs and plans.” MBJ