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Essential technology: Helix Ultra Oils from Shell

A new member of the family of Helix Ultra oils will soon be providing Shell’s franchised dealers with a sales proposition that benefits everyone, claims UK business manager Jonathan Ellis.

The company’s pacesetting Helix Ultra E engine oil promises to be a win-win product for consumers as well as retailers because it links cost efficiency with the potential to achieve increased profit from sales, he believes.

“Our tests have shown this oil gives an economy benefit of 2.2% over conventional oil. For the average consumer driving a car that returns around 33mpg and covers 10,000 miles in a year, this represents a saving that equates to about 220 miles per annum.

“As motorists look to achieve greater fuel efficiency, this is good news, but it is also good for franchised dealers because it will undoubtedly help them raise the level of customer satisfaction,” he said.

Ellis also highlights another win-win aspect of Ultra E when he talks about the increasing concern over environmental protection.

“Many franchised dealers and dealer groups now make ‘energy statements’ relating to the reduction of carbon footprint. If customers of an average dealer decide to use this product, they will achieve the higher operating efficiency that results in lower CO2 emissions and a reduction in carbon footprint of about 72kg per year.

“If we were to assume that every dealer’s customers made the switch, that would achieve a carbon footprint offset of up to 259,000kg per year – a figure equal to offsetting the carbon footprint of 259 people.”

Environmental considerations formed part of the reason why Shell Lubricants decided to develop Helix Ultra E, a lubricant beyond Helix Plus 10W-40 and a flagship product with specific benefits to the user.

Though all test results available so far have been obtained from use in petrol engines, the new oil is equally suitable for diesel motors in cars and light commercial vehicles.

Ellis says: “This is fully synthetic low viscosity engine oil that contains advanced technology that is unique to our company, along with special base fluids that further reduce friction and help improve fuel economy.

“Helix Ultra E contains a unique additive cleansing technology that prevents the formation of certain sludge deposits. This ensures maximum engine performance and gives full protection right through to the time for the next oil change.”

According to Ellis, Shell scientists were keen to provide the best technology could offer with regard to the prevention of the deposits that can impair lubricants’ performance.

But does the improvement mean users can extend oil change intervals? “That would have to be done in conjunction with the original equipment manufacturers. They are responsible for determining the service requirements for their vehicles and we would not claim anything specific with regard to increased service intervals.

“We would always advise our customers to follow the recommended service routine for their vehicles in order to keep within the requirements of warranties – although I would say that customers using Helix Ultra E would end up with a cleaner engine when the time came to change the oil,” he said.

Shell is planning to have the new top-line product on the shelves in the next six weeks but has yet to fix the retail price. 

Said Ellis: “Fully synthetic products tend to command retail prices that are between £4 and £5 per litre more expensive than semi synthetic products. We will be recommending our dealers to keep consumer prices within that area. 

“This product will cost more than the ordinary Helix Ultra product because it is offering fully synthetic technology, a significantly different base oil and it is much more complex and advanced.

“But it fully deserves to command a higher sell-out price in the marketplace. This is all about offering consumers a choice – and we can make a business case for the consumer who is interested in trying out an alternative product offering.

“Our research findings prove that Helix Ultra E is a product that more than pays for itself within a normal service period.”

Ellis said Shell developed the new oil to provide significant additional benefits that allow engines to run more freely, cleanly and more efficiently and this has been fully substantiated by all the test procedures completed so far at an independent laboratory in Germany. 

“This is an optional upgrade for any petrol or diesel engine for which 10W-40 oil is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer and it comes with all the quality that you’d expect from the number one global producer of branded oil products.

“Helix Ultra E is certainly the best oil Shell has developed and it will keep us in the lead. 

“We see it as a win-win for everyone – helping motorists save fuel, cut their costs and also reduce their carbon footprint can be turned into a business-building opportunity and those dealerships taking the time to communicate the benefits of this product can provide a real boost to their business,” he said.

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