ChevronTexaco Corp. and Shell Oil Products U.S. are in a tug-of-war over the biggest portion of the Texaco Xpress Lube chain. With both companies aiming to win over a majority of U.S. sites, one is bound to fall short of its goal. The competition has operators in the enviable position of being recruited, not just by the two combatants, but also by other chains.
Xpress Lubes became the subject of this contest in the wake of Chevron Corp.s merger with Texaco Inc. last October. In order to gain the U.S. Federal Trade Commissions blessing for the deal, Texaco agreed to divest its stakes in Equilon and Motiva, downstream joint ventures in the United States.