Two stations match discounts penny for penny

first_imgNEWHALL – Two local gas stations are giving falling fuel prices an extra push by charging an eye-popping, traffic-stopping $2.37 Monday for a gallon of regular unleaded, a discount that means long lines but a couple of extra bucks in the wallet each fill-up. The Mobil station in the 23500 block of San Fernando Road made the first move Nov. 7, selling the cheap stuff for $2.39 a gallon. It was reopening after a fire gutted the pumps nearly two years ago, though manager Gevork Takesyan said the low prices are here to stay. “Everybody’s happy, not only from the Santa Clarita Valley – even in L.A.,” he said. “Everybody says, We love you; you’re doing the right thing. … When we come into the market, they have to follow.” Soon, a nearby Chevron station on the corner of San Fernando Road and Sierra Highway began matching the Mobil station penny for penny. Both have watched as their regular unleaded prices fell to $2.37 a gallon Monday as fuel prices continue heading south after peaking at close to $3.00 over the summer. Midgrade and premium gas also are discounted – they were selling Monday for $2.65 and $2.75 per gallon, respectively, when the regional average was $2.78 and $2.83, the AAA said. “We really try to keep the prices down,” Takesyan said. “We’re happy with this policy.” Hilu said keeping up with his neighbor means losing a few cents per gallon of regular, but he doesn’t mind if customers keep coming. Over the weekend, both stations ran out of gas in between deliveries. “For me, if it’s to stay until the end of the year, it’s OK,” Hilu said. But it’s not always his call. “That’s the oil companies. They say go up, we go up. They say go down, we go down. We have no choice.” Meantime, drivers are welcoming this respite from high prices. “It’s great,” said Judy Cory of Canyon Country, filling up her Jaguar sedan with premium at the Mobil station before heading out to Los Angeles. “It’ll be nice if it comes back down to $2, but it probably never will.” Jerry Jacobson, 57, of Agua Dulce spent about $60 filling up his Chevrolet Avalanche pickup and relished the spirit of competition. “Let them fight it out,” Jacobson said. “We all benefit. … It’s a big improvement from when it was $2.75 or $2.80 a gallon. “If it got back to $2 a gallon – but we all know who’s in charge. We got the oil companies, a Republican Congress and a petroleum president.” Bill Osborne, 64, of Sylmar seized the chance to fill up his Ford F250 pickup – it’s been parked in his driveway most of the summer, when he switched to his Honda Civic hybrid. “This hasn’t been moved for so long, the clock was still on daylight-saving time,” he said. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It’s something the competition needs to do,” said Gus Hilu, who has owned the Chevron station for 20 years and has three other stations in the San Fernando Valley. “It doesn’t bother me. It’s been very good, very busy.” Gasoline prices have been steadily declining as demand slows in the fall and winter months. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach region Monday, a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.61, compared with $2.37 a year ago, the Automobile Association of America said. The highest recorded average for a gallon of regular was $2.99 on Sept. 6. The Mobil station’s pumps have been shut since the February 2004 fire – a pickup ran over a pump and ignited it, engulfing the station in canopy in flames. “In 15 minutes, all of the station was gone,” Takesyan recalled. The owners spent about $1.2 million to rebuild, but they’re only making a penny per gallon on regular. Takesyan said it’s been their policy since he began operating the station 11 years ago, and that’s not going to change. last_img

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