GM Joins Global Spec Initiative

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GM Joins Global Spec Initiative
A view of the General Motors headquarters building in Detroit, Michigan. © Linda Parton / Shutterstock.com

The International Fluids Consortium said today that General Motors has joined the organization, an accomplishment as it works to create a global system for developing automotive engine oil performance standards.

GM is the 11th automaker to join the consortium but just the second that is not headquartered in Asia or controlled by a company based there. As such, it extends the geographical range of initiative participants.

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“We are happy to welcome General Motors to this group of pioneers who are making significant changes for the future of fluids and vehicle performance,” said Teri Kowalski, principal engineer for engine design and evaluation in Toyota Motor North America’s Powertrain Division and a leading organizer of the consortium.

IFC was formed in 2020 for the purpose of creating a global system that would replace existing engine oil specification development programs, which are mostly regional. IFC leaders contend that regional programs are inefficient because they duplicate efforts and because decisions are made by consensus with representatives of the lubricant and lubricant additive industries.

The consortium set out to create a more efficient system by developing specifications that will be used globally and by having automakers lead decision-making with input from the lubricant and additive industries.

GM is the first new automaker to join the group in approximately a year or more. In November of 2021 IFC said it had 11 automaker members: Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota, along with Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and Volvo Cars. Volvo Cars has since been replaced by Aurobay, a powertrain manufacturing joint venture between Volvo and Geely, which are based in Sweden and China, respectively. The 10 automakers are all based in Asia except for Renault, a French company, and Jaguar Land Rover, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom and owned by Tata Motors, of India.

In April of 2021, Toyota was the only automaker member identified by IFC, but officials said more than a dozen original equipment manufacturers were in the process of becoming members.

GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company, which is headquartered in Detroit, was the world’s sixth-largest automaker in 2021 based on revenue. It is active in North America-based programs to develop ILSAC and API passenger car motor oil specifications. It also develops its own Dexos oil specs.

Earlier this year IFC said it was nearly finished developing its first two specs, GEO-1 and GEO-2. The former is for light-duty automotive engine oils ranging in viscosity multi-grade from 10W-30 to 0W-8, while the latter is for engine oils used in fossil-fueled light-duty vehicles equipped with gasoline particulate filters. Officials said they were written by harmonizing existing regional specs – JASO’s GLV-1 and ILSAC’s GF-6A and GF-6B.