Companies in this industry primarily sell fuel for motor vehicles; they may also offer car washes, car repairs, or inspections. No major companies dominate the industry. Although major oil companies own few retail fueling outlets, many gas stations contract to sell specific brands of fuel.
Rising demand for motor fuels in fast-growing economies such as China and India is driving gas station growth in those countries. The Chinese provinces with the most gas stations include Shandong, Hebei, Henan, Guangdong, and Jiangsu. China's state-owned oil company Sinopec operates nearly a third of China's gas stations. However, as in the US where the major oil companies have largely abandoned fuel retailing, Sinopec is retreating from the low-margin business. India is replacing China as the driver of global oil demand growth as its growing middle class takes up car ownership.
The US gas station industry includes about 15,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $140 billion. Revenue for the industry, driven mainly by fuel consumption, can vary significantly from year to year, depending on the price of crude oil.
The industry includes some truck stops but excludes establishments that are combination gas station/convenience stores, which account for the majority of fuel retailers and are covered in a separate industry profile.
Demand depends on the volume of consumer and commercial driving. The profitability of individual companies depends on the ability to secure high-traffic locations,...