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Caltex unveils new Ampol logo as brand comes back to Australia

Iconic Australian brand will start rolling back out from H2, 2020

Caltex has officially unveiled its Ampol logo as the fuel retailer commenced plans to bring the iconic brand back to Australia later this year.

The new logo takes its cues from key elements of the more than 80-year old heritage Ampol brand, including the original red and blue bands, and is designed to capitalise on the organisation’s local history. In announcing the new-look logo to the market last week, Caltex Australia interim CEO, Matthew Halliday, said it was the right time to operate under the Ampol name as an independent and growing company.

The debut of the logo came in advance of the company’s annual general meeting, where formal approval for the name change to Ampol was confirmed, 25 years after the brand name disappeared from the Australian market.  

“Trusted and high-quality products, a commitment to customer service, market-leading networks and infrastructure and playing a positive role in local communities remain at the heart of our business, as they were when Ampol was established over 80 years ago,” Halliday said in a statement.

“At the same time, the new Ampol logo reflects our growth and evolution into new markets and geographies and our ongoing drive to be world-class in everything we do. Our fresh new symbol will connect Ampol with a new generation of customers and underpins our commitment to again make it Australia’s most loved and admired fuel brand.”

Plans to rebrand back to Ampol were first revealed in December and came after US-based Chevron terminated the licensing agreement for the Caltex brand with the Australian operation.

In a letter to the market, Halliday added the Ampol name will evoke “fond memories” for many Australians, while the fresh modern mark will connect it with a new generation of customers.

“We are committed to again making Ampol Australia’s most loved and admired fuel brand,” he said.

While the new Ampol logo has old-fashioned cues, the ASX-listed company said the slanting ‘A’ was an attempt to symbolise forward momentum and be a beacon for when customers are on the road, he said.

The first Ampol-branded sites are expected in Sydney and Melbourne in the second half of this year, followed by a national rollout in 2021. The full transition of all 2000 sites is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The Ampol story began in 1936 when its founder, Sir William Gaston Walkley, created the Australian Motorists Petrol Company (AMP) in response to concerns about unfair petrol prices and transfer pricing by foreign oil companies. The group listed on the ASX in 1949 as Ampol Petroleum, then was acquired and delisted in 1988 by Pioneer, the largest Australian retailer and distributor at that time.

In 1995, Ampol was merged with Caltex, with the two becoming Caltex Petroleum Australia in 1997.

The rebrand comes as the Australian company’s proposed takeover by Canada-based operator, Alimentation Couche-Tard, remains stalled. The latter walked away from discussions in April due to economic uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The two companies have said they may re-engage once the global outlook improves.

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