Japan's Idemitsu Q8 Petroleum LLC (IQ8) opened their first gas station earlier this month in Hanoi as reported by Saigon Times. The new gas station was located at the capital's Thang Long Industrial Park, where many Japanese companies have a presence. It is the first foreign-owned facility to open in Vietnam.
Idemitsu Q8, which is a joint venture between Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. and Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd., will use its overseas experience and Japanese standards to create a superior customer experience, the news source shares. Unlike traditional gas stations in Vietnam, the new gas station will allow cash-free transactions through point of sale (POS) terminals. The firm also intends to open several stations along National Highway 5 connecting Hai Phong and Hanoi.
The new gas station have gained publicity in the social media after photos surfaced on Facebook showing a man, identified as Director of Idemitsu Q8 Hiroaki Honjo, standing in the rain and greeting every customer with a bow. Locals who have paid a visit to the Japanese facility also noted that station staff would additionally clean customers’ rear-view mirror and windows for free while their vehicles were being serviced.
Meanwhile, a bizarre rumor started by a website called phapluat.news claims that Hanoi's leadership had banned civil servants from patronizing the Japanese gas station, Tuoi Tre reported. The website, which said it was run by Hanoi's Department of Justice, alleged that the municipal People's Committee had received a letter from the city's petroleum association requesting that in order not to hurt the local business, civil servants should be banned from using the foreign-owned station. The chairman of the Vietnam Petroleum Association - Phan The Rue, dismissed the rumor and confirmed that the letter mentioned in the article was completely made up. The Hanoi police have also confirmed that the website under question is not managed by the justice department.