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Navigation aidIntroduction to German Independent Petrol Brands

With its historical tendency to have a large number of medium-sized family-owned companies (the Mittelstand) in most industries, it is not surprising that Germany has always had a large number of independent petrol distributors, supplying as many as 25% of German petrol stations. These companies used four possible branding strategies:

  • Developing their own proprietary brand
  • Selling fuel under a collective brand such as Avia, Freie T (BFT) or, rarely, Unitol
  • Distributing petrol under a major company brand - most commonly DEA
  • Supplying unbranded petrol, usually to discount stations
These options were not exclusive; one company is known to supply a mix of Avia, BFT, Shell and unbranded stations, but to have also used its own brand name in the past.

This page will look at maps from the collective brands, and serve as a master index for the independent firms known to have issued maps. In some cases, it is possible that the company never used a brand name on service stations at all, leaving them as "white pump" outlets.

Collective (Cooperative) Brands

1966 Avia sectional map of GermanyAVIA

AVIA is a Swiss based cooperative linking over 100 independent fuel distributors in several European countries. The AVIA name first became available for use in Germany around 1953, and as there is a page devoted to German AVIA participants, no more information will be given on this page.

Right: A 1966 sectional AVIA map of Germany

Freie T, BFT

Freie T station at Darmsheim, 1998 ca1963 Freie T map of Germany

The Bundesverband Freien Tankstellen (=State Association of Free Filling Stations) has represented over 1,000 independent service stations in Germany for many years. Realising the value of a common brand, it developed the Freie T mark, but around 1990 replaced it with a smarter BFT logo. The only known map carries a simple Freie T overprint onto a stock JRO issue of West Germany dating from around 1963; a rubber stamp identifies it as having come from Aera Großtankstelle in the Saar.

BFT Station in Karlsruhe

Undated Uniti map of West Germany Uniti

Unlike AVIA and Freie T, Uniti acts mainly as a trade association for independents using either their own or a major brand and has only a handful of stations using a yellow and black Unitol identity today. Formed in 1927, it assisted its members to issue maps in the 1930s by providing a standard basic design - several examples are shown on the Uniti 1930s page. After the war its members had a greater freedom to choose their own maps. The example shown here is highly unusual in that it is Uniti colours and the name of the member company Chemische Fabrik Osnabrück is given little prominence, suggesting they might have used the Uniti brand. The map was issued for Uniti Vereinigung Deutsche Kraftstoffgrosshandler eV, with card covers enclosing a stock map.
Image courtesy Wilhelm Feuer

Index to Independents known to have issued maps

Brand Used
on Map

Corporate Name
(if different to Brand)

Link to Map on this website

Adler

Amoco

Arenol

Albert Renné

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Autol

Post-war German, A-G

AVIA

A May

German Avia Participants

AVIA

Georg Oest & Cie (Ostol)

German Avia Participants

Bolco

Bolte Co. KG

Post-war German, A-G

Brennag

Brennstoff AG

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Brenntag

Brennstoff-, Chemikalien- und Transport A.G (Otto Stinnes)

Fanal

BV-Aral

Gebrüder Hoppe

German Maps - Overview

Caltex

Oest Caltex (Ostol)

German Avia Participants

Cidisol (and Disolin?)

C.J. Diederichs Söhne

Post-war German, A-G

DEA

Casati & Lederhausen

Westfalen

DEA

Otto Fricke & Co

DEA

DEA

Edmund Martin

DEA

DEA

Fritz Sibilsky Mineralöle

DEA

Deltin

Merk & Cie

Deltin

Divinol

Zeller + Gmelin

German maps since the 1970s

Donath

Paul Donath

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Eller Montan

No images available

Espolin

Alfred Espig & Co

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Esslin Tank

Wilhelm Grothues

Post-war German, A-G

Euco

Everth & Co

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Fanal

Fanal

Frisia

Fanal

GD

Gebrüder Didillon

Post-war German, A-G

Haltermann

Post-war German, H

Hettöl

Fritz Hettesheimer Mineralöle

Post-war German, H

Hinrich Stohr

Post-war German, H

Homberg

Post-war German, H

H&P

Heidemann & Pelzer

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Hudolin

Bremer Chemische Fabrik

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Kraftin, Kraftex

Werner Lücke (Kraftin)

Post-war German, K-Z

Kraftstoff

OXY

Lotherol

Hermann Lother

Post-war German, K-Z

May-Tank

A May

German Avia Participants

Migrol

Pröls KG

Migrol

Milag

 

1930s German companies outside Uniti

Montan Union

Montan Union

Ölhag (Rekordin)

Oel-Handels-Gesellschaft Hamburg

Coming Soon

Oelvertrieb Nordhausen

Kurt Isermeyer

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Olus

Hromada & Co

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Optimol (DEA)

 

Optimol

Rheinpreussen

 

DEA

RKS (Monopolin)

ReichsKraftSprit

RKS

Rückwarth

Westfalen

Sopi

Jet

Stinnes Fanal

Fanal

Strato

Post-war German, K-Z

SVG

Post-war German, K-Z

Tramin

Post-war German, K-Z

TS

Tankdienst Sengeisen

Post-war German, K-Z

Turbotank

Bösche und Bödeker

1980s German independents

Varol

Kraftstoff

OXY

VC (Vostaline)

Vogt & Co Görlitz

Uniti maps of the 1930s

VK

Georg von Opel

Jet

? Vogelsang

Carl Vogelsang Mineralöle

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Westfalen

Westfalen

Widenmeyer

Widenmeyer

? Willer

Anton Willer

Uniti maps of the 1930s

Wiol

Hüsmert, Ross u.Co

1930s German companies outside Uniti

For the record, the following larger or foreign-owned companies are not regarded as being independents on this page: Agip, Aral, BP, Caltex, DEA, Derop, Esso/Standard/Dapolin, Fina/Purfina, Gasolin, Gulf, Jet/Conoco, Leuna, Nitag, Shell, Texaco and Total. There have been, of course, many other independent brands as large as those shown on this page, and some will have issued maps - please send me an e-mail if you have any examples.
East German brands are also excluded from this page, as they were state-owned.


Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2007-10

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.