Gulf Oil Expanding Reach in China

Gulf Oil is working to expand its geographical reach in China. The lubricant blender and marketer signed up a few dozen Chinese distributors this year and opened two new regional offices.

Gulf is planning for significant growth in the Chinese market, said Arthur Liu, general manager of the companys newly renamed China subsidiary, Gulf Oil (China) Co. Our distribution network has increased by [75 percent] since the beginning of the year, and our OEM team has already achieved breakthroughs with the likes of Jincheng Motorcycle, Sinotruk and Dongfeng-Nissan.

Gulf Oil (China) Co. is the China subsidiary of Gulf Oil International, a unit of Maharashtra, India-based Hinduja Group.

Gulf Oil (no relation to U.A.E.-based Gulf Petrochem) has been in China since 1995, until this year operating as Gulf Oil (Yantai) Co. Yantai, a city in Shandong Province, is home of the companys 50,000 metric tons per year blending plant - its only blending plant in China. The removal of the citys name was a nod to Gulfs desire to establish a more national presence in the country.

In addition to its Yantai facilities, the company opened regional offices this year in Shanghai and Beijing. Establishing those offices helped the company increase the number of distributors carrying its lubricants from 40 to 70 in the first half of 2014, Sam Cork, brand and marketing manager for Gulf Oil International, told Lube Report Asia.

Gulf has also signed supply agreements with three original equipment manufacturers, Cork said. Jingcheng manufactures motorcycles, while Sinotruk makes buses and Dongfeng-Nissan is a Chinese-Japanese joint venture producing passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Gulf is anticipating that it may decide in the foreseeable future to open additional offices and to expand its blending capacity.