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Advanced Engine Technologies & Longer Drain Intervals Limit Stronger Market Gains
Demand for automotive lubricants in the United Kingdom is forecast to fall slightly to 286,000 metric tons in 2021. Market weakness will stem from improved engine technologies and high quality formulations that continue to lengthen average drain intervals, modest gains in the average annual distance traveled per vehicle, declines in domestic light vehicle output, and stagnation in the construction and agricultural sectors that limits the use of off-highway equipment.
Key Findings in the Automotive Lubricants Market in the UK Study:
Technologically Advanced Light Vehicle Fleet Limits Demand Growth in Volume Terms
The UK boasts a modern vehicle fleet featuring advanced engine technologies that not only offer enhanced fuel efficiency, but consistently extended average lubricant drain intervals as well. In addition, the country’s wealthy consumer base is able to afford purchases of high quality synthetic engine oils that require less frequent replacement than lower quality conventional types.
While the growing presence of electric and hybrid vehicles is expected to negatively impact the automotive lubricants market in the long term, these vehicles are projected to remain a small portion of the country’s vehicle fleet through 2021.
Environmental Concerns Support Demand for Synthetic & Re-Refined Lubricants
The UK will continue to see a high market penetration rate of synthetic automotive lubricants, as these products are recommended by the country’s leading OEMs (e.g., Ford and Opel) and supported by emission regulations favoring low viscosity lubricants. Consumers are also increasingly opting for synthetic blends due to their performance and cost advantages.
Re-refined and bio-based automotive lubricants will continue to see growing adoption in the UK due to consumer awareness of the products’ environmental benefits, improved waste oil collection networks, and government efforts to promote recycling.
Demand Is Concentrated Among a Handful of Firms with Popular Consumer Engine Oil Brands
The UK market for automotive lubricants is supplied by a handful of companies – primarily multinational oil producers such as BP and Shell – that benefit from extensive resources and vertical integration in petroleum products. The largest suppliers gain their market share primarily through marketing light vehicle engine oils, due to the dominance of the light vehicle segment and a general lack of consumer willingness to research motor oil formulations and performance specifications.
This study analyzes presents historical demand data (2006, 2011, and 2016) and forecasts for 2021 by market (light vehicles, medium & heavy vehicles, off-highway equipment), product (engine oils, transmission & hydraulic fluids, gear oils & greases), and formulation (conventional, synthetic, re-refined/bio-based). The study also evaluates company market share and analyzes on industry players including BP, Comma Oil & Chemicals, Exol Lubricants, Exxon Mobil, Morris Lubricants, Shell, and TOTAL.