I have been associated with the finished lubricants market in the Unites States for just over 36 years, since I was hired to create and launch Valvolines market research department. Over that time, there have been a lot of changes within the industry. What was considered the sexy part of working within the finished lubes market back then-the do-it-yourself automotive engine oil segment-is no longer the volume generator it once was. Instead, the do-it-for-me engine oil market as well as heavy-duty and industrial lubes are the ones getting all the attention.
Over the next 36 years, the U.S. finished lubes market will be changing even further based on changing transportation needs and how the vehicle market reacts to those changes. While I most likely will not be around to see how it all turns out, there are some key emerging trends that point to how it all is going to go.