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Chrysler Opens ATF+4 Licensing

Chrysler Groups new licensing program for its trademarked automatic transmission fluid, ATF+4, begins Sept. 1. The automaker said the program will issue two types of licenses, blender and re-brander. Blender licensing requires applicants to undergo a wide range of tests to verify that their blending capabilities meet ATF+4 specifications. Blenders bear the costs of these tests, plus a $5,000 licensing fee and an additional fee of $1 per gallon of ATF+4 that they sell.

Rebranders pay an annual fee of $5,000 for their license, plus testing costs, expected to amount to less than $100. The benefits of licensing our ATF+4 product will allow the millions of Chrysler Group owners with vehicles still on the road to receive transmission fluid that is designed exactly for their vehicle, said Chryslers Dennis Florkowski.

Developed in close partnership with additive manufacturer Lubrizol Corp., ATF+4 synthetic fluid is approved for use in older transmissions and will be used in all future Chrysler Group vehicles. Its previous brand, MOPAR ATF+3, will be discontinued and ATF+4 is recommended for all transmissions filled with ATF+3.

Administering the ATF+4 quality program is The Center for Quality Assurance in Midland, Mich., an affiliate of Savants Institute of Materials. For information, phone CQAs Rebecca Cox at (989) 496-2399. E-mail: clientservices@ centerforqa.com

Gonfreville Upgrade Undecided

Rumors of a capacity increase are just that, says Paris-based oil company Total. The company says it has not decided yet whether to add 10,000 barrels per day of capacity to its base oil refinery in Gonfreville, France, contrary to what outside observers have suggested. We are studying the possibility [of an upgrade], but it is just a study, Lubricants Base Oil Manager Alain Faure told the e-newsletter Lube Report. No official decision has been made. He expects a decision by mid-2006. The Gonfreville complexs existing base oil plant can make 10,000 b/d, mostly Group I stocks but also 400 b/d of Group III.

NRA Targets ConocoPhillips

The National Rifle Association has asked its 4 million members to boycott ConocoPhillips products, including gasoline and lubricants, in response to the energy companys support of efforts to restrict the presence of guns at workplaces. The powerful lobby organization vowed to make an example of Conoco-Phillips after the company – which owns the Conoco, Phillips, 76 Lubricants and Kendall brands – filed a federal lawsuit to block a new Oklahoma law that prohibits employers from firing workers who left guns in cars in company parking lots. The Oklahoma legislature passed the law after another manufacturer fired several employees who left guns locked in their cars.

Across the country, were going to make Conoco-Phillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in an Aug. 1 news release. The group plans to post billboards declaring, Conoco-Phillips is No Friend of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791, states, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. ConocoPhillips said it supports that guarantee but does not want guns in its workplaces. We are simply trying to provide a safe and secure working environment for our employees by keeping guns out of our facilities, including our company parking lots, the company stated.

Pilot Packs for Cincinnati

With an eye to boosting efficiency, Pilot Chemical Co. last month said it will relocate its corporate offices from three U.S. locations to Cincinnati, site of its primary manufacturing operations. In all, 28 executive, commercial, technical and finance positions – mostly from Santa Fe Springs, Calif., its existing headquarters, plus a few from both Red Bank, N.J., and Houston – will be transferred to Cincinnati by Jan. 1.

The corporate restructuring has installed three new vice presidents under Paul Morrisroe, who will retain his posts of president and chief executive officer. Susan Leslie is vice president of operations, while Glynn Goertzen is vice president of commercial and Matthew Bray takes charge of finance and administration. New Jersey based Neil A. Burns, who was vice president of marketing, is no longer with the company, but says he has plans to stay in the specialty chemical industry.

Sun Rises on Sonneborn

Investment firm Sun Capital Partners in late June completed its acquisition of the Refined Products business of the former Crompton Corp. The newly spun-off company, which can trace its roots back to the late 1800s, was named Sonneborn Inc., adopting the identity it used for the first half of the 20th century. Sun Capital, of Boca Raton, Fla., paid $80 million for the business, which includes plants in Petrolia, Pa., as well as Amsterdam, Koog aan de Zaan and Haarlem, Netherlands. With 470 employees and annual revenues of $265 million, Sonneborn says it is the worlds largest dedicated supplier of white oils, petrolatums and microcrystalline waxes.

The companys new owners decided to dust off the Sonneborn name even though it has not been used for some time. Customers still view the name as synonymous with premium quality products and excellent customer and technical service, said Marketing Director Rich Callahan, in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Answers on Food-grade Lubes

Wondering about how to register a food-grade lubricant or brand in NSFs White Book, or how to sub-register products you distribute? Tap into a toll-free conference-call seminar to have your questions answered, without even leaving your office. Free, hour-long seminars on the NSF Nonfood Compounds Registration program are being conducted monthly, the organization announced.

Participants who sign up for each phone seminar are provided with a toll-free conference call number. We can accept up to 25 participants for each seminar, says Amy Rice, NSF registration project manager in Ann Arbor, Mich. Upcoming dates are Oct. 6, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8. To reserve a spot, contact Rice by e-mail (rice@nsf.org) or phone (734) 769-5213.

Faces in the News

Ashland Inc. has created a new management position, chief growth officer, and promoted Walter H. Solomon to serve in the role, which reports directly to CEO Jim OBrien. Solomon will work to drive the companys growth agenda, as it applies the resources generated from divesting its share of Marathon Ashland Petroleum.

Solomon joined Ashland from Procter & Gamble in 2002, and led its Valvoline divisions do-it-your-self retail business group and brand management. Replacing Solomon as senior vice president and general manager, Valvoline DIY and retail, is Robert M. Craycraft, who joined Valvoline in 1992 and most recently was vice president of business transformation.

Valvoline also announced two new hires in its brand management area. Peter Demko, formerly with Sara Lee Foods, has responsibility for the MaxLife brand of high-mileage vehicle products, and Steven Costello, most recently with Tropicana/PepsiCo, was tapped for his skills in branding and channel-marketing innovation.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals has named Brendan Cummins to the new Executive Committee level position of chief operating officer, responsible for the operational management of its businesses. Cummins has been with Ciba for more than 30 years, and most recently headed its Plastic Additives division.

Steve Cross is now senior vice president of operations for fuels and lube distributor Simons Petroleum. A 35-year veteran of the company, Cross will also be active in the aggressive acquisition efforts of its parent, SPI Petroleum LLC.

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