Engine oil demand in Romania increased by 8.8 percent in 2018, compared to the year before, as used car sales spiked over the same period of time, according to Ziarul Financier, a Romanian business publication.
The Romanian lubricant market is one of the largest in the Balkan region and amounted to around 95,000 metric tons in 2018. According to the study, 50 percent of Romanian end users prefer to get oil changes at specialized car service centers.
Key competitors hold rather firm positions thanks to the prolonged, usually five-year, contracts with the franchised car service workshops, under which motor oil suppliers procure service equipment in the initial phase of cooperation, according to the study.
In Romania, car owners traditionally have more confidence in the advice of service center staff than that of sale representatives at fuel filling stations, according to the study.
Another characteristic of the market in Romania is the increased active fleet of used passenger and light commercial vehicles. The study found that the country’s active vehicle fleet is primaraly consisted of vehicles 10 years or older, and their share in the total vehicle fleet increased over 75 percent in 2018.
The used car sale boost came after the Romanian authorities repealed the environmental tax in 2017, the study said.
In Romania, environmental taxes accounted for 9 percent of total tax revenue before their repeal. This was one of the highest such proportions in the European Union.
According to the World Bank, the countrys tax system contributed to increased poverty, especially for rural households and families with children, and this is the main reason why the environmental tax was scrapped in 2017.
Lukoil said that the strong growth of its products in Romania was driven by the switch from Genesis Premium to Genesis special-branded products. The same was the case in Serbia, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, where the company also posted growth in sales.