Tijuana residents are going to have to get used to seeing something they haven't seen in decades: An American brand of gasoline.
Or, actually, any brand that isn't the state-run Pemex.
Almost five years after Mexico's energy reform allowed more foreign investment and participation in its energy sector, Arco, a gas station brand from the recently renamed American company Andeavor (formerly Tesoro), is the first to enter the market here.
Located in Otay, near the border, residents were surprised to see the American brand's logo going up and replacing a the red and green Pemex one.
Both the gasoline and diesel sold is imported from the United States, although it still has to adhere to Mexican standards. Nevertheless, they can offer a different price than Pemex gas stations and different additives.
So far, a liter (.26 gallons) of unleaded regular gasoline is selling at the new Arco station for $15.95 pesos, or $0.89 dollars.
According to the president of the Gas Stations Owner's Association (APEGT, in Spanish) in Tijuana, José Luis Noriega, it won't be the only one to open this year, with at least two more coming from the brand and others.
Most of the foreign brands are entering Mexico by partnering with or buying already established gas station operators. Arco partnered with Professional Fuel Solutions ProFuels in Tijuana, for example.
Although all gas stations in Mexico were, until now, obligated to use Pemex branded gasoline, the private sector was allowed to operate the stations and share the profits.