Asia Pacific has been reported as the leading region for finished lubricant demand, accounting for 40% of the global market. It has also been said that emphasis on fuel economy and a modern vehicle parc will drive the use of synthetics and other lighter viscosity grade lubricants for passenger car motor oil (PCMO) in the region. A new report from Kline (Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment), also says that capitalising on this shift, China and Malaysia are integral to the strong performance of finished lubricants in the Asia Pacific region, capturing approximately 45% of regional demand.
In China, synthetic oils have grown at over 10%/y since 2013. Mobil 1 from ExxonMobil is the best known full synthetic product in China, and similar products from Shell and BP products are also very popular.
Consumption of consumer automotive lubricants in Chain is a split between PCMO and 2T/4T, together with a small quantity of other lubricants, including ATF, gear oil, and grease. In particular, consumers are increasingly purchasing motor oil online and using a local repair shop to make the oil change for them. The online distribution channel in China is therefore expected to play a vital role in establishing an online presence for lubricant suppliers across the region.
In Malaysia, consumption of both semi synthetic and full synthetic PCMOs continued to grow during 2014, capturing almost 40% of the market share. Semi synthetics are more popular than full synthetic lubricants, accounting for approximately 30% of the PCMO segment. Most consumers in Malaysia follow OEM guidelines, who recommend multigrade products. The two major viscosity grades in the market are 20w and 15w, followed by 10w. While demand for 5w is low due to the hot climate and the high price, its share is forecast to increase, as consumers are gradually moving to lower viscosities.
PCMO’s market share in Malaysia is approximately 68% of the consumer lubricant segment. The overall production of passenger cars last year increased, but factory fill lubricants capture less than 10% of the total market. This is due to out of warranty vehicles tending to extend their oil drain intervals due to the increasing costs.
“Sales through the online channel have grown rapidly in recent years: at least 20 – 30% a year, and even up to 100% for some brands. Companies sell primarily API SM and above service category online, and are currently using the platform as a new channel for brand and product marketing, rather than just for selling products. Even when consumers do not buy their lubricants online, they are likely to first search for certain products in major online shopping websites, which include Tmall, JD.com, and Amazon.cn. Online purchase is a key component of Chinese consumer behaviour, and companies would be remiss to miss out on taking advantage of this growing trend,” said Amanda Chen, Senior Consultant, Kline’s energy practice.
Kathy Yuan, Analyst, Kline’s energy practice said, “online sales are slow in Malaysia. Consumers do not like to perform their own oil changes, and instead, entrust independent workshops to conduct the oil change for them. In recent years, some lubricant suppliers have launched their own applications, which allows consumers to locate nearby workshops and provide sales incentives.”
Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd
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