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New engine oil survey from Sewells

Workshops are abandoning mineral oils and switching to synthetic oils according to the 2006 Sewells Engine Oil and Supplier Survey.

Following up a similar research in 2001, the latest report shows there has been a marked increase in the use of 0W/30 and 5W/30 oils.

Four years ago, around 35% of engine oils offered by workshops were mineral based, but now that figure has dropped to 10%. The most popular oils is 10W/40 and along with 0W/30 and 5W/30, accounts for more than 70% of the engine oils stocked by workshops.

This is considerable change from 2001 when only around 40% of workshops stocked these viscosities and 15W/40 was the most popular grade. Accessory shops have been slower to switch to mineral based oils and they still represent almost 30% of oils stocked.

The respondents, which include workshops along with accessory shops, reported high satisfaction levels with their oil brand and supplier.

Franchised dealer workshops awarded an average rating of 85%. However, the report notes that satisfaction with brands of engine oil is highly influenced by satisfaction with the supplier.

Sewells research consultant Chris Oakham, the author of the report, has warned that price could become the main factor for suppliers when satisfaction is so high.

“Because of these high levels of satisfaction, product and supplier differentiation becomes more difficult. So when respondents were asked what would persuade them to change their engine oil supplier, and thus potentially their main brand of oil too, an extremely high number referred to price or financial terms or a similar change motivator,” says Oakham.

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