Chevron, Citgo Pass on Dexos


Chevron and Citgo each confirmed they will not offer Dexos-licensed motor oils at present, choosing instead to produce new formulations that meet the General Motors requirements without licensing.

We strive to efficiently manage cost and complexity to keep our customers as competitive as possible in the marketplace, Chevron said in a statement to Lube Report. The additional costs of the Dexos 1 licensing and the added potential complexity of carmakers making separate decisions on product formulations were key decision factors for Chevron.

The company said it believes the current International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee classification system for monitoring engine oil quality amply meets the needs of the North American passenger car motor oil market. As such, Chevron will not license its Havoline and Supreme motor oils under the Dexos 1 trademark. Havoline and Supreme motor oils will continue to meet the latest API/ILSAC standards for passenger car motor oils.

Chevron will introduce a reformulated Havoline and Chevron Supreme product that will meet Dexos requirements. We currently anticipate the reformulated product to be available by early next year, the company added.

Citgo also cited concern about the additional costs involved in Dexos licensing, and having to pass those costs onto the consumer. Citgo will offer a Dexos-capable product, a company official told Lube Report. The product will be ILSAC GF-5 and API SN licensed. Product availability is targeted for late October in bulk and beginning in mid-November for packaged product, the Citgo official stated.

GM in July announced that Shell oils were licensed for Dexos, and ExxonMobil on Sept. 10 announced it was officially Dexos-licensed and would remain lubricants supplier for GMs U.S. dealer network for the next five years.

ExxonMobils officially licensed Mobil 1 Dexos motor oil offerings will include a 5W-30 for Dexos 1 and an ESP 0W-40 for Dexos 2 designed to meet the requirements of low emission passenger car diesels.

0W-40 is one of the viscosities outlined by GM for Dexos 2, and ExxonMobil has successfully marketed Mobil 1 0W-40 for passenger car gasoline and diesel engines in many global markets, including the United States, ExxonMobil spokeswoman Kristen Hellmer told Lube Report. Mobil 1 ESP 0W-40 complements this existing product by offering a Dexos 2 oil approved for GM/Opel/Vauxhall light duty gasoline and diesel equipped vehicles in Europe. The ESP 0W-40 product will launch in Europe and will be made available in other regions depending on market demand, she continued.

Meanwhile Valvoline, a division of Ashland, stated it would not presently offer Dexos-licensed oils, to minimize the cost impact to customers who would be replacing GF-4 motor oils with Dexos motor oils. Valvoline said it plans to introduce a product that meets the Dexos 1 specification in the fall.

Jobbers World on Aug. 26 reported Castrol had advised its marketers it decided not to officially license its Edge and Syntech motor oils as Dexos-approved, though it will guarantee their performance in GM gasoline engines that recommend a Dexos 1 engine oil. Castrol officials declined to comment on Dexos licensing plans at this time, neither confirming nor denying the Jobbers World report.

A Kline and Co. study estimated consumer automotive lubricants consumption in the United States at 586 million gallons in 2009, valued at nearly $5.1 billion. According to Kline, the leading suppliers include Shell with 24 percent market share, Valvoline and BP Castrol, each with 13 percent, ExxonMobil at 9 percent, ConocoPhillips at 7 percent, Chevron at 6 percent and Citgo at 1 percent. So far motor oil suppliers with 33 percent of the U.S. consumer automotive market – Shell and ExxonMobil – are going with Dexos licenses, while suppliers with 20 percent of the market – Valvoline, and now Chevron and Citgo – have said no. If Castrol declines to seek a license, nay-sayers would also make up 33 percent of the U.S. market. ConocoPhillips did not respond to inquiries about its Dexos plans by press time.

The Center for Quality Assurance in Midland, Mich., serves as program administrator for Dexos licensing. A web site will be launched in the near future that lists the authentic, licensed Dexos motor oil suppliers, Jo Lynne Parsons, project manager for the Center, told Lube Report yesterday.

Dexos 2, designed for use in passenger car diesel engines, launched last year in Europe. Its gasoline-fueled counterpart, Dexos 1, will be available globally for GMs 2011 model year vehicles. The Dexos specifications use performance tests from ILSAC and Europes ACEA, along with some proprietary GM tests. (GM calls its trademarked specification dexos.)

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