International household name, Caltex, proudly marks its 75th anniversary this year, and the milestone is being celebrated in style
More than 240 employees and annuitants, retailers, distributors, business and community partners are gathering at Auckland Museum this evening for a Caltex 75th Diamond Gala to honour Caltex’s history and showcase its bright future in New Zealand and across the region.
Over 75 years, Caltex has become embedded in the New Zealand experience. Even earlier in 1922, a predecessor brand, Texaco, supplied the asphalt used to build the country’s first paved road; fuelled the first airmail flight in 1931 and was the exclusive fuel supplier for Lincoln Ellsworth’s historic trans-Atlantic flight to the South Pole.
The Caltex name first appeared in 1936 as a joint venture operation selling motor spirits, lubricating oils and kerosene to dairy companies, stock firms and country grocers.
In the post-war years, the brand expanded across Asia, Oceania and Africa to more than 50 countries, building more than 800 service stations featuring its trademark bright red star.
Over the years, fuel and oil quality has developed and improved, including generations of “I.C. Plus Petrol”, “Boron”, “Vortex”, “CX” and “Custom Five Star Motor Oil”. In the 1970s Havoline and Delo products blazed into new markets.
In 1996, the brand moved to its new-look five-point star, while service stations featured bright canopy lighting that welcomed a new generation of increasingly-mobile motorists.
In 2006 Caltex started rolling out its latest innovation, Techron® and Techron D® performance additives for petrol and diesel engines.
Among those celebrating a long history with Caltex are Reece and Christine Lewis, owner-operators of Caltex Stokes Valley in Lower Hutt, a family run business that goes back three generations. The service station has recently been upgraded and provides an even better offer to the motoring public and local community.
Christine’s grandfather Stan Rains took over the site in 1958, with her father taking up the reins in 1978. Christine has worked there since she was 16 – and even before that she was stacking shelves in the school holidays.
She says: “Over the past 75 years, our look has certainly changed – but what’s behind the Caltex Star remains the same. It’s all about helping people get from A to B; giving them good service, great facilities and filling their cars with affordable, top-tier fuels – just as my grandfather and my father did.”
Formed as a joint venture in 1936, the Caltex Star has always stood for quality, value and service, and with a network of more than 200 service stations and diesel truck stops, it’s one of the country’s best-known marketers of fuels and lubricants.
Caltex has come a long way in 75 years, from supplying motor spirit, benzene and lubricating oil to farmers and ships, to becoming a landmark brand welcoming motorists throughout the country.