Rooney’s New Gig


The former president of 76 Lubricants Co. is reentering the industry with a hybrid broker-cooperative that will supply motor oils and other lubes to the installer market.

Garry D. Rooney, who left 76 earlier this year after parent company Tosco Corp. announced plans to merge with Phillips Petroleum Corp., has established North American Lubricants Co. in tandem with partner Larry Read, a San Francisco businessman who owns a chain of quick lubes. They plan to retain a 50 percent stake in the company and are trying to sell the other half to 10 other owners of quick-lube centers.

This gives quick-lube owners an opportunity to help drive the direction of the company, Rooney said during a telephone interview. Quick-lube chains are generally distrustful of oil companies because the oil companies, by and large, have not done a good job communicating with their customers.

As an example, he cited the past years hikes in lubricant prices, saying that many companies foresaw the increases as much as a year earlier but did not warn customers. He also contended that some companies raised prices much higher than their raw material costs would have dictated.

Rooney said North American will shop for lube suppliers, most likely independents, to find customers the best deals in their areas, and will help with functions such as inventory management. We are going to drive costs out, Rooney said. I expect that we are going to reduce overhead costs to less than 10 cents a gallon.

Rooney said North American was scheduled to make its first delivery this week. The company sells products under the Puratech brand name.

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