Aussie brand disappearing forever
Australia's roads will be decorated by a familiar logo as an institutional branded petrol station chain is replaced by a historic and legendary icon, closely linked with the country's emergence in the 20th century.
Caltex Australia will be renamed Ampol following overwhelming support from shareholders during its annual general meeting, returning to a title which operated for decades.
"It's a brand that has been around for 80 years, and it's a brand that customers trust, customers remember," interim chief executive Matt Halliday told AAP.
"We think it stands for high-quality products and a very very deep connection to Australian communities and the Australian economy."
The new logo won't be identical to the iconic branding from last century, however. The updated edition will feature a distinctive leaning "A" to symbolise the "company's forward momentum with the striking and simple symbol to be a beacon for customers when on the road," it said.
"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," Mr Halliday said in a media release.
"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."
The rebranding will be rolled out across Sydney and Melbourne in the coming months and then hit the roads nationally from the start of next year.
Ampol emerged from The Great Depression in 1936 founded by Sir William Gaston Walkley, deriding its company's name from the acronym Australian Motorists Petrol Company (AMP).
It wasn't the first oil company Down Under but it was the first publicly listed enterprise, launching on the Australian share market in 1948 as AMP before changing its name the following year to Ampol Petroleum Ltd.
The company was well known for its sponsorships, establishing the Ampol Golf Tournament in 1947, an Australian TV series called Hunter, a ride at the old Wonderland theme park in Sydney and the first TV coverage of the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956.
In 1965 it built the Lytton Refinery in Brisbane, giving Australia its first wholly-owned and-operated processing facility, which is still a major part of the company's operations.
It played up its status as an Australian company competing with international oil majors with famous "As Australian as Ampol" marketing campaign, and even produced a contender for Australia's national anthem written to the tune of Waltzing Matilda featuring songwriter Jack O'Hagan's God Bless Australia lyrics.
In 1988 it was acquired by Pioneer International, now known as concrete company Hanson Australia.
The following year Pioneer bought Solo Oil, which at the time was Australia's largest independent distributor and retailer of petroleum products. In 1995, the company merged with Caltex to form Australian Petroleum Pty, which in 1997 was renamed Caltex Australia.
The petrol retailer announced to the stock market in December, US oil giant Chevron had terminated the service station chain's access to the branding, forcing it to adopt the previous name and logo.
Caltex Australia was born after a merger between it and Ampol nearly 25 years ago but the name conversion will begin in June and cost the publicly listed company about $165 million over three years.
Chevron sold its $4.6 billion half-share in Caltex Australia in 2015, but maintained the licensing deal for use of the name.
- With AAP's Derek Rose
Originally published as Aussie brand disappearing forever