There was a time when the lubricants business was dominated by major oil companies that produced both base oils and additives. They blended all products in-house, and sold finished lubricants with their own sales forces directly to installers, on- and off-road fleets, industrial accounts and retail outlets. Their products were delivered in company-owned and operated vehicles. And although there were some lube distributors in the early days, most were dedicated to one brand.
The majors owned and controlled most of the value chain back then, and the quality and integrity of lubricants was comparatively easy to manage since the majors had direct control over most of the manufacturing, sales and support, and delivery activity. But times have changed.