Issue: Aug 2009


Shell Lubricants Maintains Leadership Position as Number One Lubricants Supplier in Turbulent Year



by Jon Knox

For the third consecutive year, Shell Lubricants has been named the number one global lubricants supplier selling more lubricants in 2008 than any other supplier in the world.

The research, conducted by Kline & Company(1), gives Shell Lubricants 13% of the market by volume, and a two per cent lead over its nearest competitor. The figures show that despite the tough operating environment, Shell Lubricants outpaced the lubricants market as a whole and continued to increase its market share in key growth countries.

David Pirret, Executive Vice President for Shell Lubricants, said: Kline's research shows that we have continued to outperform the global lubricants market and maintained our leadership position in spite of the challenging external environment. To achieve this for the third consecutive year is testament to our consistent strategy, strong brands and technology leadership, focusing on delivering first-class lubricants solutions to customers, wherever they may be.

During 2008, global demand for lubricants declined by 3% (source: Kline & Company(2)). However, Shell Lubricants achieved particularly strong growth in Brazil and Russia where volumes grew by 13% and 6% respectively. Shell Lubricants also grew its volumes in Asia Pacific, the largest lubricants-consuming region in the world.

In the US, Shell Lubricants retained its market lead with a 12% market share by volume. Overall demand for lubricants fell by 8%, but the US remained the largest single market for lubricants by volume accounting for 22% of all global lubricants consumption.

Kline's VP for Energy, Geeta Agashe, said: The US lubricants market saw a significant contraction in 2008 and this is likely to continue in 2009. Sales of industrial lubricants have been the hardest hit, with industries like automotive manufacturing, fabricated and primary metals, construction and mining seeing a major reduction in their business.

Looking ahead, David Pirret said Shell Lubricants was well placed to continue to outpace the market and make the most of opportunities in spite of the uncertainties ahead. He said: The global recession has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the lubricants market and brought rapid change and volatility.

Despite this, we continue to invest heavily in lubricants research and development to ensure that we deliver the innovative technology that provides a key competitive advantage for Shell and an important source of value for our customers. This focus on technology, combined with our leading brands and global reach, mean we are well-positioned to seize future opportunities.

The Shell Group has a history of lubricants innovation stretching back more than 70 years. For example: In the 1960s Shell was the first to launch multi-grade engine oil for use in all vehicles in all seasons In the 1970s Shell pioneered the use of detergents in vehicle oils to help keep engines clean
In the 1990s, Shell was first to market with a 'low SAPS' engine oil, with lower levels of Sulphated Ash, Phosphorous and Sulphur. Using low SAPS oils can help to reduce diesel exhaust emissions, by protecting after-treatment devices In the 2000s, Shell Lubricants in the US introduced the first aftermarket motor oil specifically designed for the special needs of hybrid vehicles - Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic for Hybrid Vehicles.

Shell Lubricants has leading lubricants research centers in the US, UK, Germany and Japan staffed by world-class scientists. Their focus is to develop products and services that provide customers with superior protection and efficiency, designed to provide such benefits as lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life and reduced energy consumption.

The term 'Shell Lubricants' collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. They manufacture and blend products for use in a range of applications from consumer motoring to mining and power generation to commercial transport. Shell's portfolio of lubricant brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, Shell Rotella T, Shell Helix, Shell Rimula, Shell Tellus, Monarch, a portfolio of car care products and Jiffy Lube® services.


(1) Kline & Company is a worldwide consulting and research firm.


(2) All data in this media release has been sourced from Kline & Company's report 'Competitive Intelligence for the Global Lubricants Industry, 2008 2018'.

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