Service Stations


Full-service stations with repair bays are a disappearing breed. Bays are being sealed up for convenience store conversions or torn down to make room for high-volume, self-service stations, said Steve Shelton, executive director of the Southern California Service Station Assn. In 1971, about 90% of California’s 22,800 service stations had repair facilities, compared to half the state’s 12,500 stations today, he said.

As a result, the number of cars on California’s streets per traditional, full-service fuel outlet has soared from 650 in 1972 to 2,830 today and may reach 4,800 in 1992, Shelton said. The reliability of cars, however, has not improved four-fold in the past 15 years. “Tires still go flat, and fan belts are still the same as 10 years ago,” he said.

Specialized repair shops are rushing into the market as a result, said Donald C. (Rusty) Jackman, publisher of Des Plaines, Ill.-based Motor Service magazine. Their numbers have grown to about 150,000 last year from 136,000 in 1981, he said.



Market share based on total California gasoline sales of 7.23 billion gallons (January-July, 1987). ARCO. . . 18.71% CHEVRON. . . 16.21% SHELL. . . 13.64% UNOCAL. . . 12.59% MOBIL. . . 7.63% TEXACO. . . 7.24% EXXON. . . 5.57% OTHER. . . 18.71% Source: Lundberg Letter