Lukoil Reboots Engine Oils


Lukoil has reformulated and relaunched its premium tier engine oils, part of its effort to adapt to Russias rapidly changing automobile market.

The Moscow-based company said its top line passenger car motor oils are now certified for meeting API-SL and SM standards. It also introduced heavy duty diesel oils that comply with the API CG-4 and CI-4 specifications. Officials said the company upgraded its products to appeal to the growing number of motorists who own foreign-made vehicles.

[The] Russian car market dictates new requirements for quality of motor oil today, said Maxim Donde, general director of LLK-International, Lukoils lubricant subsidiary.

In announcing the reformulation and relaunch April 30, Lukoil cited trends that show Russias growing preference for foreign vehicles. Imports of new foreign cars grew 65 percent last year, imports of foreign used cars 46 percent. Observers believe the trend, spurred by a combination of increased incomes and the growing practice of buying cars on credit, will continue and that half of the countrys car fleet will be foreign-branded by 2012.

Lukoil acknowledged that foreign vehicles generally require higher quality engine oils. In addition, the company said motorists who own better cars will take better care of them.

When there is a really good car in your garage, you start to care about it differently than you used to for an old VAZ-made car, the company said, referring to one of the leading Russian brands of car. You choose a higher quality of fuel and lubricating oil.

Lukoil, which claims a 45 percent share of Russias lubricant market, said the vehicle trends are spurring all Russian engine oil marketers to try to raise the quality of their products. LLK obtained SM/CF and SL/CF certification for the premium products in its Luxe-branded line of passenger car motor oils – including 5W-40 and 10W-40 semi-synthetic products and a synthetic 5W-40. It also has original equipment manufacturer approvals from BMW, Porsche and VW.

The new diesel oils bear the Avangarde brand and are available in 15W-40 conventional, and 10W-40 semi synthetic.

In an apparent nod to the preference that Russian consumers generally have for foreign products, Lukoil emphasized the use of Western additive technology in its new formulations. The company said it also adopted Western standards in upgrading the packaging used for its engine oils. It introduced plastic containers with in-mold labeling and two-component caps designed to prevent counterfeiting.

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