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For the third consecutive year, Shell Lubricants has been named the No. 1 global lubricants supplier, selling more lubricants in 2008 than any other supplier in the world.
The research, conducted by Kline & Company, gives Shell Lubricants 13 percent of the market by volume, and a two per cent lead over its nearest competitor. The figures show that despite the tough operating environment, Shell Lubricants outpaced the lubricants market as a whole and continued to increase its market share in key growth countries.
David Pirret, executive vice president for Shell Lubricants, said: “Kline's research shows that we have continued to outperform the global lubricants market and maintained our leadership position in spite of the challenging external environment. To achieve this for the third consecutive year is testament to our consistent strategy, strong brands and technology leadership, focusing on delivering first-class lubricants solutions to customers, wherever they may be.”
During 2008, global demand for lubricants declined by 3 percent (source: Kline & Company). However, Shell Lubricants achieved particularly strong growth in Brazil and Russia where volumes grew by 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Shell Lubricants also grew its volumes in Asia Pacific, the largest lubricants-consuming region in the world.
In the United States, Shell Lubricants retained its market lead with a 12 percent market share by volume. Overall demand for lubricants fell by 8 percent, but the U.S. remained the largest single market for lubricants by volume accounting for 22 percent of all global lubricants consumption.
Kline's VP for energy, Geeta Agashe, said: “The U.S. lubricants market saw a significant contraction in 2008 and this is likely to continue in 2009. Sales of industrial lubricants have been the hardest hit, with industries like automotive manufacturing, fabricated and primary metals, construction and mining seeing a major reduction in their business.”
Looking ahead, Pirret said, “Shell Lubricants was well placed to continue to outpace the market and make the most of opportunities in spite of the uncertainties ahead. The global recession has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the lubricants market and brought rapid change and volatility. Despite this, we continue to invest heavily in lubricants research and development to ensure that we deliver the innovative technology that provides a key competitive advantage for Shell and an important source of value for our customers. This focus on technology, combined with our leading brands and global reach, mean we are well-positioned to seize future opportunities.”