Repsol said recently that a joint venture strategy has helped its lubricant business grow by 40% over the past five years. The Spain-based company added that it aims to expand another 50% over the next five years, largely by focusing on markets in Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.
The company is headquartered in Madrid, and its lubes business is still strongest in its backyard. In a March 4 press release about the launch of fluids for electric vehicles, Repsol said it is the leading lubes supplier in both Spain and Portugal, with market shares of 25% and 19%, respectively.
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But it credited its recent growth to an international shift. In 2018 it bought a 40% stake in Bardahl Manufacturing Corp., a lubricant marketer that is based in the United States but largely focuses on the Mexican market. In 2019 it bought an equal stake of United Oil, the lubricants business of Singapore-based United Global Ltd., which does much of its business in Indonesia.
Repsol said the joint ventures now account for 30% of its lubricant sales, which reached 193,000 metric tons in 2020. The company said its lubes sales increased in 2020 despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, although it did not say by how much. It attributed that progress to the international nature of the business, which is now in 78 countries.
The company said it now intends to focus on continuing to grow in a number of markets where it already has a presence – specifically Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Romania, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Its goal is to increase sales to 300,000 tons by 2025.
The company’s EV lubricants launch included five products: an automatic transmission fluid; a battery thermal fluid; a coolant antifreeze; a synthetic grease; and a brake fluid.