Need to Know
With demand for passenger car motor oil declining and the value of the business moving up due to growth in the use of higher-priced synthetics, there is little wonder why many have asked, what can the industry do to help drive greater use of synthetics? The answers offered up might surprise some, and to understand why starts with a look at how the synthetic lubricants business developed and who the customers are today.
Synthetic PCMO meeting API specifications was first introduced to the market in the early 1970s. Back then, synthetics were blended almost exclusively with the use of polyalphaolefin (PAO) base oil. But although it offered excellent oxidation stability and unapparelled low-temperature performance, PAO cost close to three times more than its conventional counterparts. This made synthetic PCMO cost-prohibitive for most motorists and limited the market to such niches as racing, auto enthusiasts and prestige brand buyers.