SK Lubricants is aiming to strengthen its presence in China through a business alliance with global tire giant Michelin and a network of branded auto workshops.
The South Korean base oil and lubricants supplier said it entered into a partnership with Frances Michelin, the second-largest tire manufacturer worldwide, in November. Michelin will sell SKs Zic-branded lubricants along with SKs brake oils and transmission oils at its network of around 1,500 Tyre Plus car maintenance stores throughout China.
SK expects the tie-up with Michelin to increase sales of Zic products in China, according to the companyswritten statement. Were trying to increase contacts with Chinese consumers to raise brand image and awareness, said Seong Jaedeok, head of the companys China headquarters. The company aims to be among Chinas top five lube suppliers by 2020, selling the country 1 million barrelsof Zic per year, he added.
The subsidiary of SK Innovation Co. also opened its flagship branded store in Shanghai in early November and plans to expand the network of stores to the whole of China in coming years. The Shanghai store, which is equipped with car lifters, tuning rooms and washers, is anticipated to sell 3,500 liters of automotive lubricants per month.
The Seoul-based company said the Chinese lubricants market is currently the worlds second-largest following the United States, but it projected that Chinas demand will top the U.S. by 2025.
SK has produced finished lubricants in Tianjin, China, since 2012.