crush and sold out at Total, anger among competitors

The 20 øre discount that Total gave, in addition to the 30 øre from the state, caused a tidal wave at the stations, some of which had to close due to lack of stock. The penalized competitors qualify the measure as unfair.

Throughout the month of August, some French motorists have restricted passage to the pump to take advantage of greater discounts at the pump from 1 September. And obviously many of them have filled up at Total. The tanker adds the discount of 20 euro cents per liters, a reduction that is added to it 30 øre from the government. This big discount is valid until 31 October. She will go to 10 euro cents/litre from 1 November to 31 December. This program concerns almost 3,500 filling stations.

After exceeding 2 euros, the liter of fuel fell to 1.34 euros per liter. liter of SP95 and about 1.50 euros for diesel. According to Total, the savings can reach “around 25 euros for a full 50 litres”. The other side of the coin, these bonuses caused a tidal wave in Total stations, some of which were exhausted in a few hours.

Empty tanks at the stations

The French, but also drivers from neighboring countries, let loose at the weekend at the beginning of the month. Almost everywhere, the discount caused endless queues and rat races that even required police intervention at some stations, as reported Le Figaro. But above all the uncivil behavior of some who filled cans beyond their capacity. An attitude reminiscent of the one that caused shortages of toilet paper, mustard or, more recently, heating pills.

“They have gone crazy. There is no point in filling up as this campaign lasts two months. These people are promoting shortages”, responds BFM Business Francis Pousse, president of the gas station and new energy department at Mobilians. “Around my home, in Le Mans, there is no longer a single Total station open due to lack of fuel”.

The situation can be seen almost everywhere in France. On social networks, there are many testimonies of those who, after refueling, filled several 20-liter cans. Some stations have decided to ration to 50 euros per person. But according to witnesses, heavy consumers did not hesitate to switch from one pump to another to use again.

If individuals are affected by this shortage, professionals, among them those who provide emergency and health services and who use a Total card, find themselves in a worrying situation.

An unfair discount

The gift to consumers also has the effect of punishing Total’s competitors, who throughout France are suffering badly from the oil discount. At other oil companies’ stations or at large retailers, it has become rare for customers to benefit from the discount from Total in addition to that from the state, i.e. a total of 50 centimes per month per liters of fuel.

In Corsica, several Esso stations have decided to stop their fuel distribution due to a lack of customers. Their leaders condemn the unfair competition of the Total group, which has given a discount of 20 cents on the fuel price since last Thursday. The Esso station in Calvi closed the pumps after Esso France refused to match Total’s prices with an identical discount.

“There will be damage. At these stations, it is estimated between 30 and 40% volume loss. The most penalized are in rural and peri-urban areas, that is to say the most fragile”, declares Francis Pousse to BFM Business. .

Avoid a tax on super profits

For Mobilians, Total’s discount is described as “unfair” to its competitors.

“This gift to consumers is actually a negotiation with the government to avoid taxing super profits. The others, like Esso or BP, cannot join as these stations are supplied by wholesalers. They are no longer run by these big oil companies who should do good throughout Europe for a gift that they would give in France”, explains Francis Pousse.

For Total, this discount is, on the contrary, a response “to the expectations of the French affected by the increase in energy prices and the impact on their purchasing power”, as the company explains in a press release. The tanker seeks to limit stock shortages, which were even predicted.

“We have scheduled additional deliveries on Saturday and today (the depots are closed on Sundays)”, TotalEnergie explained to us, specifying that “deliveries are ongoing during the day”.

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