A benchmarking of the South African Liquid Fuels industry with that of the United States of America.
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The South African Liquid Fuels Industry is currently in a state of flux. A new fuel pricing mechanism has been rolled out and new legislation has been enacted within the past few years that have significantly impacted on the business environment. The Main Supply Agreement which governed the marketing and distribution of Sasol's liquid fuel products also came to an end on the 1 st of January 2004. All these drivers have had a major impact on the business environment that the Sasol Liquid Fuels Business operated in. The government has also stated its policy to further deregulate the industry including the pricing structure of liquid fuel. The United States Liquid Fuels Industry is the largest in the world and is based on an unregulated fuel price thus leading to price competition among competing retailers. It therefore serves as a good basis with which to compare and evaluate the South African industry. A comprehensive industry analysis is performed in order to explore, understand and describe the nature of the liquid fuels business environments in the USA and South Africa. The Delphi technique was used to gather primary data on the state of the South African Liquid Fuels industry. Thereafter a benchmarking of the South African Liquid Fuels Industry is carried out using primary data from the Delphi study and secondary data from the literature review. The techniques used include PEST analysis and Porter's Five Forces. Aspects of the United States industry that are similar to the South African industry are identified. A scenario for a future deregulated South African Liquid Fuels Industry is described and a marketing and distribution strategy for Sasol is proposed.