Despite a dominant position in the first-fill engine oil market – Texaco supplies more than 60% of cars produced in the UK – the company has struggled to make an impact in the aftersales sector.
John Newton, manager of OEMs and global accounts in Europe, said Texaco had tended to undersell itself to franchised dealers, fast-fits and service outlets.
This was now being rectified through trade ads, dealer incentive programmes and a “determination to use our share of the car oil market, which is above 10%, to build for the future”, he said.
Texaco this month launched a workshop equipment installation and maintenance service to help dealers reduce costs from equipment failure. Mr Newton said that penetration into the aftersales lubricants market was hampered by dealers' lack of understanding about the benefits of different oil specifications.
“We tailor our first-fill products for use in the aftermarket, but there is no guarantee that a dealer would use them, even if we supply the manufacturer,” he said.
Carmakers can recommend a brand of oil, but they cannot mandate its use. They can, though, insist on a minimum specification.
“The problem is, dealers often do not buy – or sell the benefits of – the oils that meet the carmaker's specification. But their customers will not get the durability or fuel efficiency that the car is capable of achieving,” Mr Newton said. He urged them to trade up to the premium brand that best suited each model in order to maximise the profit margin and improve engine performance.