Chevron Embraces Havoline Brand


Starting in mid-2011, Chevron will consolidate its Texaco Havoline lubricant product line in North America under the Chevron brand.

It will not impact Chevrons retail fuels business, and both Chevron and Texaco retail fuel stations will offer Chevron-branded Havoline lubricants.

The Texaco Havoline Xpress Lubes network in North America will also be converted to Chevron Havoline Xpress Lubes through 2011. Revised signage includes the Chevron logo.

In 2008, Chevron transitioned from its dual-branded Chevron and Texaco commercial and industrial product lines to a single line under the Chevron name in the United States and Canada.

Chevron said the Havoline line, launched in 1904, is sold regionally under the master brand that provides the greatest marketing advantage – Texaco in Europe and Latin America, Caltex in Asia Pacific and Africa, and now Chevron in North America.

Moving the Havoline product line under the Chevron family is the natural next step in consolidating our North America lubricants, coolants, additives and chemicals products under one master brand, said Doug Hinzie, Americas vice president for Chevron Lubricants. With this move, the Havoline brand will achieve greater visibility, increased retail opportunities, expanded marketing support and the benefits of being part of the Chevron brand, which enjoys a much larger presence than Texaco in North America.

The updated Havoline line will feature the Chevron logo. Hinzie said the changes will be across the board for Havoline lubricants products. All use of the Texaco name and the star will be replaced for the full product line for all of the Havoline branded products, he told Lube Report. That change will occur in the middle of 2011, so were giving everybody plenty of notice to be able to plan for an orderly transition.

Chevron will increase its investment in the Havoline brands, he emphasized. Well be investing more in branded communications, advertising and marketing support in 2011, for Chevron-Havoline as the change will be occurring, he said. And were investing pretty significantly as well in the installed segment in the do-it-for-me segment, to capture that growth. We think the Chevron-Havoline brand combination is going to be very effective, both in the do-it-yourself segment as well as the do-it-for-me market.

Chevron notified distributors of the change on Monday.

We certainly believe that as distributors understand all the implications of this change, that they will be excited about it, Hinzie asserted. Chevron investment at the corporate level and the fuels marketing business is substantial, and to be able to take that brand equity and have that supporting the Havoline brand, I think it will be exciting for them.

An official with one distributor pointed out that while Chevron was strong as a lubricants brand in regions such as the U.S. West and Southwest, Texaco remained a stronger brand in some areas. Its good to see a commitment to Havoline, this source told Lube Report. But at the same time, Im a little disappointed to see the Texaco brand fading away.

This source commended the Havoline Xpress Lube change, saying Im excited about the refresh of Havoline Xpress Lube, putting Chevron on it to confirm their continued commitment to the brand. Were talking about a change that was long overdue.

A source with another distributor said it made sense to get away from double brands of products in the North American market, adding Im surprised its taken them this long.

A source with a distributor that doesnt handle Chevron products said that, as an outsider looking in, it makes perfectly logical marketing sense. Obviously, the flagship brand name is Havoline, and theyve done a good job with that brand over the years. It makes strategic marketing sense to put that under one corporate Chevron brand while still maintaining the Havoline presence.

The consolidation should be straightforward and seamless since Chevron learned to do it before with its industrial and commercial lubricants lines, said George Morvey, project manager for consultancy Kline and Co.s energy practice.

Since they acquired Texaco Havoline, theyve been working towards this goal – downplaying the Texaco name, and building up the Havoline name, Morvey told Lube Report. If you look at any of their products from motor oil to wiper blades, the focus is the Havoline brand name and not so much Texaco. So replacing the Texaco name with Chevron shouldnt have any negative effects on their ability to continue marketing the brand.

He noted that many Texaco gas stations have been replaced by Chevron or others. With more visibility for Chevron fuel, it may make the connection and help sell more [Havoline] products, Morvey said. Also, for the younger generation drivers that have no connection to the Texaco brand whatsoever, it shouldnt have any effect on them. It may upset some old timers and loyalists, but going forward, current generation drivers that have no prior experience with the Texaco brand, it will have no effect on them.

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