Since September 1, TotalEnergies service stations have been robbed by motorists. Some have even run out of fuel. The reason ? Prices at the pump are currently lower there than in other places, thanks to the new government discount, raised to 30 cents per liter, as well as the commercial gesture granted by the oil group itself.
After two aids to the pump already granted in spring and this summer, the gas and oil giant applies, from September 1 and until the end of October, a bonus of 20 cents per liter on fuels at their own service stations. This discount will increase to 10 cents per liter from November until the end of 2022. A way for TotalEnergies to show its credentials, while the government and some parliamentarians would like to tax its super profits, generated by the inflation of raw materials, in the midst of an energy crisis accentuated by the war in Ukraine.
If the motorists are winners, the rest of the service stations do not see this gesture with a good eye. Service stations supported by large distribution brands, such as independent ones, denounce “ distortion of competition » and a situation « unfair which risks further weakening certain small independent stations in rural or peri-urban areas.
Small independent stations can’t line up
Representatives of independent service stations allege that it is impossible for them to offer a discount like the one that TotalEnergies grants to its customers. ” Net margins at service stations are 1 to 2 net cents. we can’t queue “says to The galery Francis Pousse, president of the Mobilians federation of fuel and new energy distributors, which represents service stations, except supermarkets.
” If it continues, there will be damage. For stations that are already compromised, they may not survive “, also warns Frédéric Plan, general delegate of FF3C, a professional organization that represents oil product distribution companies and that represents in particular 800 service stations located outside metropolitan areas. ” It is normal for customers to go where it is cheapest. But we are asked to allow normal competition conditions to develop. There, the situation is quite untenable.“, criticizes Frédéric Plan.
In the network without Total stations and supermarkets, he noted an immediate drop of 30 to 40% in sales volumes at the beginning of the week. “There is a problem of inequity “, the Mint. ” The government must take into account this very specific situation », Estimates by Francis Pousse.
Systèmes U and E.Leclerc want to benefit from the TotalEnergies discount
For their part, the Systèmes U and E.Leclerc supermarkets denounce “ distortion of competition and turn directly to TotalEnergies. These large retailers, who are also losing market share in their service stations, demand of the oil giant that also applies its bonus. Prayed, “Total is both our supplier and our competitor “, summed up Wednesday Michel-Édouard Leclerc, president of the strategic committee of the E.Leclerc centers at RTL. ” U and Leclerc systems, we buy the fuel together […] it is the same fuel in our stations. Part of this fuel is delivered by Total”, The CEO of Systèmes U, Dominique Schelcher, also explained on Tuesday.
The oil group is, in fact, a unique case in the French fuel market, because it has the particularity of selling fuel at its station pumps, but it also supplies two-thirds of the French market. However, as a supplier, you do not give gifts. Given this situation, TotalEnergies client stations believe that they are also entitled to benefit from the discount granted to motorists.
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