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Publishers Letter


Are you ready for the brave new world of extended drain intervals?

Amsoil has touted a 25,000-mile or one-year oil change interval for more than 30 years. But ExxonMobil upped the ante in late January with its launch of four new Mobil-brand passenger car motor oils with guaranteed performance and protection up to 15,000 miles (see page 26).

It likely wont take another 30 years to see who goes next. When Valvoline introduced high-mileage engine oils with its premium (and pro?table) MaxLife line in 2000, it was only a matter of months before the North American motor oil industry followed.

ExxonMobils consumer research showed that 90 percent of drivers would use an oil that guarantees 7,500 miles of protection between changes, but only 30 percent would actually extend their drain intervals – which currently average about 4,300 miles in the United States. Even so, longer drains mean selling less motor oil.

Are you ready?

Next month LubesnGreases marks its 10th anniversary, and were celebrating with our ?rst-ever redesign. In fact, weve already started, by moving the Table of Contents to page 4. Art director Greg Whitlow, who created our original design in 1995, will unveil a new cover design, new typefaces and new graphic elements, with the April 2005 issue. Readers and advertisers will still feel at home with our fresh new look, because we remain committed to bringing you the industrys most readable, attractive and meaningful design.

An even more important element that wont change is our commitment to bringing you the best features, news and commentary about the lubricants industry. For example, see this months cover story by Tim Sullivan (page 36), about the fundamental changes in todays lube additive supply/demand balance. With rising raw material costs and scarcity of some key additive components, lubricant manufacturers and their customers face unwelcome pricing and formulation changes they may have to learn to live with.

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