Shell has been named the No.1 global lubricants supplier for the fourth consecutive year in an annual research study carried out by Kline & Company.
Despite one of the toughest operating environments since the Great Depression, Shell Lubricants trumped a tumultuous 2009, growing its global market share to 13.4 per cent from 12.7 per cent in 2008. It also widened its lead over its nearest competitor to 2.5 per cent, up from 1.6 per cent the year before. These figures are especially significant, given that 2009 worldwide lubricant demand declined 8.4 per cent over 2008 to 35 million tonnes.
Chong-Meng Tan, Executive vice-president for Shell Business to Business & Shell Lubricants, said: “Kline’s research shows that despite very challenging market conditions, Shell has continued to outperform the lubricants market as a whole and maintain our global leadership position. I believe this is the result of a consistent strategy that focuses squarely on customers, as well as leading technologies delivering differentiated products that add value for clients.”
According to Kline, the impact of the global recession had been less severe in the Asia-Pacific region, which continued to show the most robust growth on a volumetric basis. Shell achieved strong growth in China and has established itself as a leading player in developing markets such as Indonesia. Kline also noted that the United States – the largest country market in terms of lubricant volume consumed – was among those that were most impacted by the economic downturn. Shell however grew its market leadership despite the market trend.
On the industry’s competitive landscape, Kline indicated that technological expertise has, and will increasingly become an important differentiator for lubricants suppliers. This is a key strength for Shell, whose technological leadership includes more than 70 years of innovation though investing in research and development (R&D) and recruiting world-class scientists to create some of the most advanced lubricant products available.
Shell also partners with leading OEMs, customers and institutions in projects that enable testing of its products in some of the most demanding conditions. Earlier this year, Shell announced the renewal of its global lubricants agreement with Hyundai Motor Company, including collaboration on lubricants R&D.