PQS Puts Car Care on the Block


Shells Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. is exploring the sale of its Car Care portfolio, including wipers, chemicals and appearance products, and is already in advanced discussions to sell its auto accessories and air care business, Auto Expressions, to Kraco Enterprises.

Shells strategic review, announced May 14, covers the Car Care business in North America and Shell Car Care International, which sells to Europe, Australia, China, Japan and Russia. Because Auto Expressions products make up a large part of SCCI sales, we intend to transfer these international sales activities to Kraco upon reaching a definitive agreement, Lisa Davis, president of Shell Lubricants Americas, told Lube Report. We also intend to transfer our office in Hong Kong that supports our Asian sourcing activities for the Auto Expression product lines to Kraco.

In addition to Auto Expressions, Car Care brands include Rain-X wiper blades; Fix-a-Flat tire inflators; Black Magic, Blue Coral and Westleys appearance products; and Gumout, Slick 50 and The Outlaw automotive chemicals.

When Pennzoil and Quaker State merged in 1998, Pennzoil contributed the Fix-a-Flat chemical tire inflator and Gumout performance chemicals businesses, while Quaker State provided Medo air fresheners, Slick 50 performance chemicals, and Black Magic, Blue Coral, Rain-X and Westleys products. PQS purchased Sagaz auto interior accessories in 2000, and all the businesses were acquired by Shell when it bought PQS in 2002.

The Car Care business is strong, Davis said. For this business to achieve its full potential, however, continued focus and resources are required.

She added, Like any competitive business, we must focus our resources where we are best positioned to deliver growth.

Unlike Car Care, Shells lubricants business is considered core. Shell is committed to the lubricants business as a growth business, Davis said. The lubricants business is aligned with both Shells core competencies and global strategy.

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