Survival Recipes in crisis times

Every economic crisis naturally entails the fact that everything and everyone are in their place. Weak players leave the market, and strong players - on the contrary, use the crisis as a chance to show their stability and reliability, finding new opportunities for development. About how the difficult economic situation affected the motor oil market, as well as about the recipes for survival during the crisis, the editorial staff talked with the marketing director of the Delfin Group business association Milshinin N.N.

How can you assess the dynamics of the motor oil market for cars in the first half of 2015 compared with the same period last year? Is there a decline or growth?

- In general, sales of oils in the first half of 2015 were at the level of the same period last year. There was no significant growth or decline in sales. However, there is still a downward trend. It is associated with ongoing crisis phenomena, increased use of oils with an extended replacement life and a clear increase in sales of foreign cars of the Russian assembly, among which cars with increased requirements for fuel consumption economy prevail.

Is the overall impact of the crisis of price increases on the consumption process (respectively, sales) of motor oils noticeable? If it is noticeable, what is it expressed in?

- If we talk about the growth of prices, it is primarily associated with the growth of the euro and the dollar. It is not a secret for anyone that an obligatory condition for obtaining approval from a foreign manufacturer is the use of additives of exclusively foreign production. In turn, the business association Delfin Group pays much attention to obtaining international approvals and approvals. For example, LUXE brand products fully meet the requirements of international standards, and also has the permits of such automotive manufacturers as CUMMINS, Mercedes-Benz and MAN. So it turns out that in order to create high-tech oil, additives are needed, and these additives are purchased abroad for foreign currency, and as the currency rate has increased, the price of the final product has also increased.

Is it possible to assert that as a result of the current crisis, both the structure of market participants and their positions have changed significantly? Are there any specific examples in this regard??

- The structure of the participants of the Russian market of motor oils has not undergone any significant changes. Initially, it was assumed that import substitution could contribute to the withdrawal from the market of some foreign brands, but in the current situation they had to choose: either to lose the Russian buyer or to change their price policy. The choice fell on the second option.

As for the domestic market participants, four companies remain the leading producers of motor oils: Rosneft, Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Delfin Group. And the business-association Delfin Group is confidently among the four leaders over the past few years.

Is it possible now to talk seriously about the emerging trend of import substitution or is it premature? And do domestic producers have real chances in this direction?

- As for the trend towards import substitution, then, of course, it is observed, but here it is important to understand that this is a very difficult process for domestic manufacturers of motor oils. As already noted, today all high-tech additives for semi-synthetic and synthetic oils of high categories are produced abroad. Unfortunately, the domestic filler industry has lagged behind for decades from the needs of the producers of oils. And, in turn, to create a modern production of additives, not only major investments are needed, but also various developments and experience in this area. The main chances in the direction of import substitution today are associated with relatively low costs for workers' wages and energy costs, the prices for which in our country are less than, for example, in Europe and the USA.

What do you estimate is the approximate market share of domestic and imported oils in physical terms?

- The ratio between imported and domestic oils continues to be 60% by 40% in favor of imports in physical terms.

Can you roughly estimate the ratio of sales of motor oils through various retail channels (stores w / h, supermarkets, auto services, internet)? Which of these channels, in your opinion, is most dynamically developing this year?

- To date, sales of motor oils through retail stores and supermarkets are falling. This is primarily due to the development of online shopping. However, the most interesting and dynamically developing channel is auto services that perform sales from both standard cans and "bottled" directly from cans with a capacity of 20-30 liters and barrels of producers. We think that this segment will continue its development. At least, this corresponds to world trends.

Can you, in your opinion, the current crisis situation affect the behavior of car owners and lead to a new growth in the amount of self-service for the replacement of motor oil, given that more than 50% of them independently buy oil in retail stores?

- Today, we can safely talk about the full development of the segment of car-care centers, because many distributors invest in it. More and more branded service stations appear, which is an indicator of a positive mood in this area. And if we talk about the impact of the crisis on increasing the volume of self-service to replace oil, the proportion of such car owners is very small.

Motor oils of what types and viscosity parameters are currently the most used? How they are universal for different brands of cars?

- Most automakers in their service books prescribe such types of oils as 5W30, 5W40 (synthetic) and 10W40 (semisynthetic). They are used and the most universal at the present time.

How popular is the retail sale of engine oils "in bottles" from barrels? Is it possible to estimate its approximate share in relation to oils, put up in cans (1-5 liters)?

- A certain growth in retail sales of motor oils "for bottling" of barrels today, of course, is observed. However, it is difficult to call it significant due to the fact that large supermarkets at the expense of high requirements to the sanitary condition of commercial premises and strict safety rules are unlikely to use such a method of sales. In turn, small retail stores of auto chemical goods and spare parts have long been practicing it.

In recent years, a lot of oils, offered as original under the well-known brands GM, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, etc., appeared in free retail sale? Can you comment on the specifics of their production and promotion?

- When promoting such oils, the principle is frequently used that the "native" oil of a particular automotive manufacturer is the best suited to the vehicle of the same manufacturer. The truth is not always indicated that the price is often overestimated.

 

Retail operators confirm the growing interest in the original oils. But it should be noted that it often does not make sense to purchase an unreasonably expensive product when it is possible to buy oil that is not inferior to it by the leading domestic producers “Lukoil”, “TNK”, “Delfin Group”, “Rosneft”, “Gazpromneft”.