Automotive and lubricants industries trigger each other's development.
Petrol Ofisi Lubricants Director Sezgin Gürsu spoke at the OYDER Automotive Congress held by the Automotive Authorized Dealers’ Association (OYDER) under the title of ‘The New Period’ in Automotive Retail, pointing out that the automotive and lubricants industries are highly intertwined and interacting industries.
As an actor in the lubricants industry for 25 years, Sezgin Gürsu remarked that technology, on one side, and the progress, on the other, trigger each other for further improvement:
“The parallel development of the automotive industry and this interaction are evident in the history of the lubricants industry. In the early 1990s, the first plazas started to be established in the Authorized Sales and Service market. In those years, lubricant companies also supported the construction of these plazas, the installation of equipment, the selection of products, and the determination of specifications. 5 years from now, today’s business model and products will be completely changed. We are currently going through this change that kicked off at a great pace.
35,000 different specifications in 10 years
Only 10 years ago, there were only a few engine lubricant standards and we were able to use them on every brand and model. There are currently 35,000 specifications for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. This is a progress and change that solely results from the automotive industry. 3 main criteria have brought us to today’s 35,000 specifications: exhaust emissions, heavier operating conditions of engines, and fuel efficiency caused by competition.
Looking back at the criteria for the first emission rates published in 1992, Euro norms are 96% more strict today. They will be much more challenging and new norms will come our way in 2019 and 2020, which will continue all the way up to 0 emission. '0 emission' means 'emissions cleaner than air.' This pressed the industry, and a transition to full synthetic versions took place in lubricants.
The second factor is higher performance expectations for smaller engines, causing OEMs to need differentiated products. With the introduction of different specifications, each brand has focused on developing proprietary products. Formulations have also become stricter because these smaller engines needed more protection.
Journey from 10W40 and 20W50 to 0W30 and 0W20
It is an inverse equation, though. Indeed, it was necessary to increase the viscosity to provide protection. However, fuel consumption is an important criterion for all automotive manufacturers. Today, we speak of 4 liters/100 km, down from 7-8 liters. This is a rather harsh criterion for lubricants technologies, pushing all stakeholders to pick more difficult paths. We have all started to work on thinner lubricants. After the discussions which were used to be on 10W40 or 20W50 in the 70s-80s, we now see that even 5W30 disappears, with 0W30 and 0W20 coming to the fore. Much thinner lubricants emerge today that are specific to every vehicle and even every model. Things are getting harder for the lubricants industry.
We produce lubricants which comply with lower emission rates and provide more protection for engines working in heavier conditions, while also addressing lower fuel consumption requirements.
Petrol Ofisi Technology Center at the disposal of the automotive industry
We are successfully carrying out all these challenging processes at Petrol Ofisi Technology Center (POTEM) in our Derince plant. At POTEM, one of Turkey's most advanced laboratories, we are conducting R&D activities in collaboration with all global additive producers. We are developing and manufacturing products that meet the needs of entire Turkey in compliance with the world standards and specifications.
At Petrol Ofisi, we have consistently maintained our leading position in the lubricants and chemicals market for 8 years. In our factory in Derince, we operate with an annual production capacity of 140,000 tons and a range of more than 350 products. We are exporting Petrol Ofisi’s signature products to 33 countries. Although it seems a small quantity compared to the export of cars, this has a special value for us as it means that a brand born in Turkey is able to reach 33 countries on 4 continents.
At Petrol Ofisi, we have always stood and will continue to stand by the automotive industry with our 77 years of know-how, advanced technology, and global R&D power. At POTEM, we understand both the current and future needs of the automotive industry and create the most suitable solutions and products for them.