AUTO’S MEMBERS AND THEIR BUSINESSES
AUTO members have created thousands of jobs in Washington state. These family owned businesses and their employees are the origin of the AUTO’s theme: “Keeping the wheels rolling in Washington State.”
The convenience store offering motor fuel under a brand of
one of the major oil companies is the most common retail operation
utilized by AUTO members throughout the state. In addition to basic
staples like beverages and snacks, motorists can often find fast food
offerings and deli counters inside many of the stores. From the
computerized dispensers out on the islands to the high end electronic
point of sale (EPOS) systems that can scan the purchase and swipe the
payment card, the technology utilized by AUTO members in the modern
convenience store is "top of the line".
Many of AUTO members operate “alternative profit centers” in conjunction with their motor fuel offerings. One very popular “apc” is the car wash.
While certainly not as common as in times past, AUTO members operate “service stations” that offer automotive repair and maintenance services in addition to motor fuels.
AUTO members operate truck stops along the interstate highways. In
addition to providing meals, showers, and other amenities for the long
haul truckers and travelers, the truck stop provides a safe refueling
location and resting place for those that transport much of America's
commerce making the truck stop a vital component of our freeway
system. All is provided through a free enterprise concept by the AUTO
member at no cost to the taxpayers.
With the high costs of overhead and real estate, AUTO’s members often utilize every available area on the lot. The Espresso stand to the left, is an example of an ancillary business that helps share the costs of pricey real estate along a freeway.
Commercial customers are the main customers for those AUTO members that cater to truckers, farmers, and other businesses that consume motor fuel and lubricants on and off public roads. Special fueling facilities called “card locks” are utilized to provide 24/7 service for dyed diesel and other motor fuels. They also often offer bulk lubricants such as hydraulic fluid and chain saw oil through special dispensers.
In addition to operating convenience stores and other type retail outlets, many AUTO members are also wholesale suppliers (jobbers) who operate fleets of trucks that deliver motor fuel to other independent station operators. Commonly called "wet" or "mobile" fueling, AUTO members also provide truck fleets and heavy equipment operators with the option of taking delivery of the motor fuel directly into the vehicle's tank while it's parked in the truck yard or at a construction site.