Friday, September 30, 2011

"It's a commodity, stupid!"

The following is a post from Cliff. Cliff has been employed in the automotive industry in the past and enjoys writing in his spare time, much like I do. Expect to see his thoughts and commentary posted here more in the near future. As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Is that truck full of gas for BP? Marathon? Shell? Trick Question!

How many times have you heard some self-professed “car expert” proclaim that they would never buy such and such brand of gasoline, usually followed by some personal horror story with one brand or another?

Well, I hate to be the one to burst their bubble, but gasoline is a commodity . . . stupid. It is listed on the exchanges and sold as a commodity world-wide. That means, you have no idea who made the gasoline in your tank, even if the sign out front says “BP”, “Shell”, “Marathon”, “Exxon” etc.

The major players in the retail gasoline market spend billions of dollars trying to convince you that their brand with additive XYG74XZ24, will clean your engine, reduce sludge (whatever the hell that is), make the world a safer place to live, and improve your sex life. While it is true, various brands do put additives into their formulation of gasoline, you as a consumer have no clue what type of additive you just got in your last fill up.

The gasoline you get has a lot more to do with your geographic location to the nearest refinery, and proximity to transportation routes; i.e. pipeline, ship, truck etc.

And while we are at it, can we finally slay the old “water in the gasoline” fairytale? If this was in fact true, do you think your car would be the only one impacted? No, there would be many cars stalled within walking distance of a station selling gas with water in it. And probably with one severely beaten attendant behind the cash register.

So, what is consumer to do? Buy the cheapest damned gasoline you can find, this time and every single time you fill up. You are getting as good of a product as anyone else selling gasoline nearby. In fact, probably EXACTLY the same product being sold at the nearby station.

Save Money. Drive safe.

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