Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

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LPGC
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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#21 Post by LPGC »

I have read that MFG is planning on removing LPG pumps from it's existing forecourts? Not good news if you rely on MFG's forecourts for LPG... Even though their prices are usually the most expensive they're still far cheaper than running on petrol.

I have also read that MFG, or at least the finance firms that own MFG, are planning on buying Morrisons (or at least Morrisons forecourts)? If that is true then we would hope that they don't (also?) remove LPG pumps from Morrisons or increase the price to MFG usual prices at Morrisons.

Apparently the Competition and Marketing Authority are looking into MFG's interests in Morrisons?

Thoughts?
Last edited by LPGC on Fri Apr 08, 2022 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#22 Post by Avensist »

That would be really bad. Even as is, MFG has harmed the market. Hope the competition commission prevents that from happening.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#23 Post by Brian_H »

LPGC wrote: Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:50 pm I have read that MFG is planning on removing LPG pumps from it's existing forecourts? Not good news if you rely on MFG's forecourts for LPG... Even though their prices are usually the most expensive they're still far cheaper than running on petrol.

I have also read that MFG, or at least the finance firms that own MFG, are planning on buying Morrisons (or at least Morrisons forecourts)? If that is true then we would hope that they don't (also?) remove LPG pumps from Morrisons or increase the price to MFG usual prices at Morrisons.

Apparently the Competition and Marketing Authority are looking into MFG's interests in Morrisons?

Thoughts?
They have already removed some of them, either to install EV chargers in the space occoupied by the tanks, or for Starbucks coffee drive through places.

The local one seems to have given up selling any fuel this week, They haven't got any diesel, petrol or LPG. Can't even wash your car there as they are in the process of ripping out the jetwash facility. And in typical MFG fashion, the customer toilets have been constantly out of order since MFG took it over from Malthurst.

They stopped Sainsburys merging with Asda, so theres clearly grounds for them saying MFG have too much of the market already, particually given it would give them most of the LPG outlets left, It seems they are deliberately undermining them to make LPG not a viable choice for people, so they either goto them for petrol/diesel or switch to EV to me.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#24 Post by Avensist »

Another thing I noticed is, couple of Morrisons have upped their prices to 82.9. 10p hike is huge, already started to behave like MFG even before this potential merger!

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#25 Post by Brian_H »

I'd suspect thats being driven by Calor hiking their prices. Its still 18p cheaper than MFG. It seems alot of LPG prices are changed monthly, so given recent events its hardly surprising its gone up. Asda jumped by 20p when it went from 52.7 so its not unusual for jumps in the price. I've seen others updated to 107.9 recently.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#26 Post by Avensist »

Yeah, come to think of it, you're right.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#27 Post by Avensist »

Just so this article suggests that the take over has already happened. Now the MFG sites need to be freed up to satisfy competition commission. Whether those sold will take on or carry on with LPG remains to be seen.
https://forecourttrader.co.uk/latest-ne ... 29.article

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#28 Post by Brian_H »

And this article linked from yours, covers their lpg stance, which appears to be as Simon says. Of course it might be more profitable if they hadn't decided to rip customers off, encourging them to go elsewhere.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#29 Post by LPGC »

Hang on then... So is it true that MFG may be taking over Morrisons forecourts? And if so is availability/prices likely to change?

I have been holding on to the promise of better times, what with emissions zones and taxis converting to LPG so obviously needing somewhere to fill up. And I'm busier than ever with LPG conversion bookings.

The recent stutters in supply have highlighted that there is a lot of demand for LPG... Given a certain area when some forecourts have had no supply the others, even those regularly supplied, have soon run out of LPG before being supplied again. This combined with (in my own experience) growing demand for LPG conversions and said taxi conversions. It would normally seem obvious that firms would want to profit from selling fuel to customers. Everytime I see pics of EV's charging at EV charging spots there's nobody else at the same place charging an EV. What do these firms think they're going to profit from in the changeover period from fossil fuels to electric if they jump in too soon with EV charging spots at the expense of the cleanest fuel (LPG) refilling spots? Not well worded but you get the gist.

We've talked around this next subject I'll bring up before... Fair competition in the LPG supply system, There is obviously demand and I know of a few people who have considered setting up independent LPG refuelling stations, only to be faced with none/vague answers when looking into supply for their potential setups. Most current suppliers, the big names, seem more interested in selling hardware and getting dubious contracts signed than they are in selling their main product. There would be at least 10 extra LPG forecourts right now, that I know of, if it wasn't for such firms policies. Yet the suppliers for all of those 10 sites would make a decent profit from purely supply and by not doing so they must be shooting themselves in the foot. Something is bent in the LPG supply business, government bodies seem to have suspected it (and made them change some of their practices) and I suspect it. Just as emissions zones etc are meaning increased sales of LPG to motorists should be possible and very profitable for gas suppliers, something seems to be holding them back.

If such supplier is reading this (unlikely I know) - Nobody wants to pay you £10k to supply and set up a new tank and pump, especially not when there must be lots of perfectly good second hand stuff around at a small fraction of your new supply and setup costs. But they will set up sites with second hand equipment, not bought from you, if you will supply them with gas. Nobody wants to sign a contract with you in which you will have sole rights to supply that forecourt, they want to be able to pick up the phone and order a delivery from the lowest quoter at the time they want to order a re-supply of gas. That way you will sell more gas and be more profitable than you otherwise would. Or at the other extreme lose the opportunity for LPG to be seen as the best interim fuel, just as city councils are forcing taxi drivers etc to run on LPG instead of diesel or go full electric (and taxi drivers would prefer LPG to electric).
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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#30 Post by Avensist »

You are so right Simon. I often wonder which is more profitable, EV or LPG from forecourt point of view. LPG can be filled up in few minutes but EV will need to sit there for a bit longer. So, in a given hour which one is more profitable? EV that sits in the bay for 30 minutes or couple of LPG cars come around to fill up...

I know it is a lot to do with government policy and those behind it is more concerned about their election results and popularity. One time ignored all other factors and concentrated on CO2 reduction which ended up with the diesel gate scandal. Despite the ULEZ expansion, air quality in London is pretty bad. Horrific amount of black soot on cabin filter which I clean more regularly than most. I only make a journey to London occasionally but within 3 months the cabin filter is noticeably black.

LPG is the most quick and cost effective way to tackle this. But hey, it's the government, their priority is different to general public's.

P.S Again goes to show that the well-known trade body is absolutely useless. Especially with the recent events.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#31 Post by LPGC »

Avensist wrote: Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:55 pm P.S Again goes to show that the well-known trade body is absolutely useless. Especially with the recent events.
I would say worse than useless... Useless doesn't necessarily imply damaging but I see the trade body as damaging competition in the industry. A focal point where firms which might otherwise be in strong competition converge and decide on how best to act as a cartel, one not taking the initiative over another because they prior agreed that they'd make more money if they didn't get into that sort of thing. Only now the cartel members stand to lose out because of their prior arrangements - The first to break out could run rings around them and supply lots of independent forecourts with far less of the self imposed red tape. All the signs of a cartel are there... take home heating customers, a government anti-monopoly type setup (I forget the name of the setup but could find it if I tried) forced gas suppliers to give up sole rights to supply home heating customers in certain conditions such as after a period of time that supplier had installed tanks etc. We would think that other suppliers would cease the chance of supplying the original supplier's customer but they didn't. And the original supplier didn't poach the potential new suppliers customers either. They seem less interested in selling LPG, more interested in renting you an LPG tank. Government setup has already had to intervene in their practices, they should intervene again to separate the gas supply from gas storage equipment supply setups, then we would see some real competition. I run almost entirely on LPG but once or twice a year have to fill my petrol tank, when I fill my petrol tank I might fill up at Shell or BP but Shell/BP don't own my petrol tank and I don't expect to have to sign a contract to say I will only fill my petrol tank at Shell/BP and I don't expect loads of red tape that the suppliers imposed upon themselves and myself as their potential customer if in the first half of a year I want to fill up at one of them (say Shell) then want to fill up at the other (say BP)... No, I expect to pull up on their site and have them fill my tank without needing to inspect it first, or if I am buying a bulk load I expect them to deliver it and the process still not involve any of their self imposed (on themselves and on me) bs. I should be able to expect them to be happy that I'd used them as a supplier for that particular fill, not be more concerned about an implication being that their own customers could just as easily choose a different supplier for their next fill.
Last edited by LPGC on Sun Apr 10, 2022 12:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#32 Post by Brian_H »

A lot of the profit in a fuel station, isn't from the fuel. Its from the cups of coffee, and other shop products brought whilst your there. And lets face it, if your waiting for an EV to charge, your going to be there more than long enough to buy a coffee etc. I'd suspect thats really what drives a lot of their business.

I'd read it not as MFG taking over morrisons, more the parent company above MFG - MFG would stay as a brand, but they would possibly sell that business off to get Morrisons. That seems to be whats suggested there?

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#33 Post by LPGC »

Yes but what does that mean in practice Bri? Is the parent company of MFG going to buy Morrisons forecourts and then stick the prices of LPG up at Morrisons forecourts or even remove LPG pumps at Morrisons forecourts, or will things continue much the same as they are? Morrisons have big car parks... If half the population switched to EV's the forecourts would be useless, they'd need to change their carparks to feature EV charging points in every other bay to entice EV users.
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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#34 Post by Brian_H »

Good question - Though at the same time, a supermarket forecourt the same isn't true for a standalone one as far as the shops concerned - Asda being the obvious example there, most of their sites don't even have a shop, and very few of those that have payment to a cashier have a shop at all, its all about volume of fuel there.

Given the way both of the major suppliers have been when theres been a shortage, Autogas really isn't of much interest to them is the way it seems to be.

I can't honestly see many people wanting to charge at a public EV charger when the alternative is to charge at home. Yes it might be a useful option for some people driving distance etc, but your typical runabout spends most of its time either parked at home or work.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#35 Post by Brian_H »

Well I'm now down to a single station here, the BP MFG station no longer has a pump. Must have decided their sales were too low, hardly surprising when its 27p a litre more expensive at them than 3 miles across town to use a pump thats in a poor state of repair with a canopy that leaks more water on you when its raining than if you stood outside of the canopy.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#36 Post by Avensist »

Yeah MFG did announced that they'll be pulling the pumps out gradually. With that sort of price differences, even driving for over 3 miles makes economic sense if you're filling up a tank with over 50 litre.

The other day, all stations around M25 were out of fuel, including the one on M1 services. Goes to show the demand is there. But MFG is like the British government, putting the tax too high and economy stalls... Putting the price too high and income suffers...

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#37 Post by Brian_H »

Certainly does, more often than not I'm driving to Junction 14 on the m1 at the minute anyway so it'd barely a detour to fill up.

Seems all 3 of the sainsburys stations near to the m25 are going as well, Colney has been broken since last year, Cobham has had a note to say no more from the 1st August and similar been said about Watford.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#38 Post by Avensist »

Yes the Colney one was really convenient for me as it was open 24 hours and often filled up there before returning home to Norfolk. Occasionally used Watford, but now got to rely on M1 Welcome breaks. There are others but often shut early like 16:30 and since I move around during the night, need to have somewhere that is open 24 hours.

Spoke to the girl at Asda High Wycombe just off M40, which she said they shut at around 21:30 when single manned, but 21:45 if manned by two which can be difficult for me to make it before it closes.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#39 Post by Brian_H »

my experience with Asda sites is they close as and when they see fit rather than any sort of consistancy. Not helped by most (but not all) of them having no real shop facility on the forecourt (the only exception I know of this is the one in Leeds).

Like yourself, I'm often out early or late depending whats going on, and its nothing unusual for me to be filling up before 6am or after 10am (or even gone 2am).

The local Shell seems to get a lot of folk with Dacia factory fits using it, I'm happy to see that as they have not long renewed the tanks, and a busy pump hopefully means it will stay in place, newer cars using it also suggests they get plenty of custom from it. I also see the odd assortment of other vehicles using it, typically larger people carriers, taxis, one of the local security patrols (who have a Dacia to run around in) and an assortment of different cars. More of a mix the better really.

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Re: Is MFG is a MFinG filling station network?

#40 Post by Avensist »

You're right, Asda acts capriciously. The girl mentioned that she's from the agency and the contract is until 22:00 but since no overtime is paid so bunk off at said times. Goes to show the work attitudes of people today as well as the current economic climate of difficulties sourcing staffs.

Your local Shell seems to be grasping it from what you've said. Here in Norfolk lots have shut down one way or the other and only a few remaining. Though I always fill up at wherever I was with work miles away which often has good prices so I haven't filled up in Norfolk for quite a long time except when the tank is low where I put 10 litres or so at high prices just to get to the station with favourable prices outside Norfolk.

The market is there but the majority don't seem to get it...

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