CNOOC Sells Finished Lubes, Too

CHENGDU, China-China National Offshore Oil Co. has been promoting its co-branded HydroPure finished lubricants that were introduced earlier this year through an expanding network of branded service centers, cooperation with more dealerships and increased online marketing.

Known for its crude and base oil production, Chinas third-largest national oil company told the Enmore (formerly CBI) 2015 Base Oil Summit here last month that it has been integrating and promoting all of its product lines. The marketing push includes intensified focus on its finished lubes, which are co-owned and produced by Singapores United Oil.

Marketed under the HydroPure name, the automotive and industrial lubricants, metalworking fluids, marine oils, specialty oils and greases are manufactured primarily at Uniteds Singapore plant, and also at its facility in Indonesia. They are marketed in China and throughout Southeast Asia.

CNOOC has been developing a network of quick oil change centers to sell finished lubricants and to associate its brand with service rather than just products. With CNOOC recognizing that the lubricants business in China has transitioned from a sellers market to a buyers market, Deputy Manager of Lubricant Sales Shi Xiaosi said that the CNOOC service centers will be a way to quickly promote and enhance its brand amid intensified competition.

Developed through independent franchises or partnerships with established automotive aftermarket product and service providers, the centers may become a strong sales model for CNOOCs finished lubricants business, she said. Shi noted that the advantages of the oil change centers include lower distribution costs, greater profit margins and direct access to consumers.

The centers will help CNOOC maintain a unified image, increase customer awareness, enhance brand loyalty, reduce counterfeiting of its products and better manage its sales metrics, she said.

CNOOC will also partner with more large domestic car manufacturers to sell its products at 4S (Sale, Sparepart, Service, Survey) stores. CNOOC will also push HydroPure at more small- and medium-sized garages, auto repair shops, maintenance shops and other service outlets, with full branding on the shops facades, in addition to amplified marketing efforts at its own network of gas stations.

Online marketing - including video advertisements and other visual campaigns, and a WeChat platform - is an increasingly important part of CNOOCs marketing efforts as well, Shi noted.