Need to Know
It’s common knowledge among those in the lubricants business that demand for passenger car motor oil in the United States has declined over the years. The downward trajectory has been and continues to be driven by extended oil drains, reduced makeup oil, onboard oil change indicators and other factors. The emergence of electric vehicles has also begun to gnaw away at demand, and its negative impact on PCMO sales is expected to ramp up as the EV population grows.
To get a sense for how much PCMO demand has dropped, consider that in 2002 demand reached nearly 750 million gallons. By 2022, it dropped to just over 400 million gallons. This represents an organic loss of 350 million gallons, or 45% of the market. To put the magnitude of the lost volume in perspective, it’s close to 20 million gallons more than the combined total of PCMO sold in the U.S. by the two leading majors in 2002.