Q1.) Could you please start by providing us with some insight into Petronas and its evolution within the lubricants industry?
Ans: Certainly. Petronas has a strong presence in Italy and collaborates closely with the Stellantis Group. Before 2008, we were known as Fiat Lubricants, but after 2008, we became part of the Petronas Group, transforming into a multinational entity. Our market share in Italy stands at around 23-24%, mainly driven by the automotive sector.
Q2.) Could you elaborate on Petronas' operations and focus within the automotive and industrial sectors?
Ans: Certainly. The majority of our results stem from the automotive market, particularly from aftermarket dealers and workshops, including our Petronas-branded workshops. Over the past 8-9 years, we have developed a network of 1000 Petronas workshops, catering to both Fiat workshops and independent ones. We offer these workshops our specialized products and technical support. Our product range includes both high-priced options recommended by FCA and competitively priced alternatives. In the automotive sector, we have a strong market presence, with Shell and Castrol being our main competitors.
Q3.) How about the industrial sector? How does Petronas navigate this market?
Ans: The industrial market presents unique challenges, but we are actively working to grow our presence there. Currently, our market share in the industrial sector is quite low. While competitors like Eni hold a strong position, we are focusing on expanding despite the complexities involved. Industrial products require technical service and assurance of suitability for machinery use, making expansion more intricate. Our current emphasis is on this sector's growth.
Q4.) How has the lubricants market evolved in terms of demand and product preferences?
Ans: Demand for our main products, especially those recommended by the Stellantis Group, remains stable. However, the open market range is more sensitive to price fluctuations. We mainly offer semi-synthetic products, with a smaller portion being fully synthetic. Synthetic products are gaining traction, especially in motorbike applications, due to the automotive industry's shift towards fuel efficiency. The trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles further emphasizes the need for synthetic lubricants to achieve fuel economy and reduce emissions.
Q5.) What are your projections for the future of the lubricants market?
Ans: The lubricants market is expected to face challenges in the coming years, particularly due to the rise of electric vehicles. While the automotive lubricants sector may experience a slight decline, heavy-duty applications, like those in trucks, are likely to remain stable. In the next 5 years, our focus will continue to be on passenger and heavy-duty oils, where we expect consistency and growth.
Q6.) How does Petronas distribute its products and maintain a strong market presence?
Ans: Our distribution model involves working with distributors who supply our products to workshops and independent dealers. These distributors play a crucial role in ensuring efficient logistics and storage, given the inflammable nature of lubricants. Currently, tier-3 distributors contribute significantly to our revenue, serving as key partners in our distribution network.
Q7.) Lastly, what is Petronas' outlook on future growth and challenges in the lubricants market?
Ans: While the lubricants market may not experience substantial growth in the near future, we are committed to maintaining our position and adapting to industry changes. The rise of electric vehicles presents a challenge, but we remain focused on innovation and expanding our market share. Our efforts in both the automotive and industrial sectors, along with our dedication to quality and technical support, will be crucial in navigating these challenges and securing our place in the market.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications