ENEOS Europe has decided to present its premium-quality motor oils and transmission fluids in the TecDoc Catalogue. This lays the foundation for the successful expansion of ENEOS’ business activities in the European independent automotive aftermarket, which is one of its main distribution channels.
The London-based company with Japanese roots was founded to supply Japanese car manufacturers in Europe and introduce ENEOS products into the European market. Today ENEOS sells its lubricants in almost all European countries for car engine applications.
We talked to ENEOS Europe’s Przemek Rybka, Group Manager, and Bahie Hassan, Regional Manager, about the lubricant market in Europe, their sponsorship of a motorcycle racing team and why they choose to present their products in the TecDoc Catalogue.
The automotive industry is changing. How will you meet the future requirements for electric and hybrid vehicles?
Przemek Rybka: On the one hand, we have seen higher demand for electric vehicles due to environmental concerns. On the other hand, there have been challenges related to the pandemic across Europe. We have seen falling demand for lubricants and lower mileage travelled. In 2021, the industry experienced substantial shortages of raw materials.
ENEOS as integrated company is strongly engaged in developing new technologies, especially EV fluids. These are specialised to suit the drive systems of electric and hybrid vehicles. They need high performance in insulation, cooling, and gear protection. We are introducing ENEOS EV FLUID primarily to Japanese and Chinese manufacturers of electric and hybrid vehicles and related components.
Which segments are you focusing on?
Bahie Hassan: Our company currently has two dedicated lines of business. One is OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) products for Japanese and European carmakers. The other is our ENEOS branded products for the aftermarket.
We started in the aftermarket for Japanese cars. Due to growing demand from other segments, we have also developed products with European OEM approvals.
In recent years, we have been successful working with aftermarket spare parts distributors who offer a complete range of products, from spare parts to lubricants, delivered with fast, efficient logistics. They help us to popularise ENEOS in Europe and reach many new customers.
How important is the IAM (Independent Aftermarket) for the sale of ENEOS products?
Przemek Rybka: The IAM is one of the main channels for ENEOS products. Over the recent years, we have worked on many projects that would allow us to improve communication to car services not only to communicate about ENEOS but also to provide IAMs with knowledge about recent development and lubricant technologies.
In oil product development, we design and develop products to suit specific engine characteristics. These include the temperature range, the travel distance, the engine running time, RPMs, the oil change intervals, and even local climate and legal constraints on fuel efficiency.
During the pandemic, we launched a series of webinars about our product and their applications. We also explained the lubricant technologies behind premium quality products like ours. And we signed with TecDoc.
Why TecDoc? How do you assess the importance of the TecDoc Catalogue for lubricant manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket?
Bahie Hassan: Without a doubt, ENEOS is still a young brand in Europe, compared with many of our premium competitors. Although our market share is already high enough to be noticed in some countries, we are still investing in the growth of our distribution network. We believe in success in the long term, and we see that Europe is the market for premium quality products in which drivers do care about their vehicles.
Having our products in the TecDoc Catalogue allows us to better reach customers and inform them about ENEOS’ product line. Existing customers use it as an efficient platform to learn about our new products. We are extending our product range to offer products for all Japanese, European and Korean cars in the European car parc.
TecDoc allows our customers to learn about new offerings and choose the right oils for their vehicles. This has become more and more complicated in Europe due to OEM requirements for new engine technologies and emission standard requirements.
Europe is a competitive market, with many lubricant brands addressing the same customers. How do you differentiate yourself?
Przemek Rybka: Our differentiation is due to our high quality and our Japanese heritage, as we are the only Japanese brand manufacturing in Europe for the European aftermarket. We are proud that we supply lubricants for many European car manufacturers.
We at ENEOS see the European continent as very promising for investment due to the strong positive perception of both premium lubricants and Japanese quality.
What changes do you expect from joining TecDoc?
Bahie Hassan: Thanks to cooperating with TecAlliance and being in TecDoc we are counting on information about our products reaching many workshops and replacement parts companies, who have not yet come across ENEOS, or need more information about our products.
We have products for European cars which sometimes are not easy to associate with the brand from Japan. We want to let our customers know that ENEOS is also a premium quality engine oil for BMW, VW, Mercedes, or Peugeot.
We are already seeing an increase in inquiries from the market and growing interest. Many of our customers already have online platforms that use the TecDoc database. They can already see the benefits of having the full range of information about ENEOS’ product line in their online ordering systems; it helps them to communicate with their customers. TecDoc will be an important platform for communication about our product range, new product launches, specifications, applications etc.
Motorcycle: You sponsor a motorcycle rider/team – what was your motivation? What benefits do your products provide to motorcycles?
Przemek Rybka: ENEOS has been a global supplier of products to key Japanese motorcycle makers, including oils for customers such as Yamaha or Honda Motorcycles. These are long-term partnerships in which we have invested years of cooperation in R&D to develop the best-performing lubricants for motorcycle engines. Remember that these work under higher pressure and more extreme conditions than car engines. Because a rider’s safety and life are at stake, customers choose top-quality products without compromising. With ENEOS they are in secure hands.
Being a key supplier and R&D partner of two globally biggest motorbike makers gives us the enormous advantage of actually knowing how to design best performing motorcycle engine oils.
ENEOS Corporation is a fully integrated oil company; in fact, it is the largest energy company in Japan. With its headquarters in Tokyo, it supplies not only petroleum products such as fuels and lubricants, but also fuel cell technology and energy for households. ENEOS leads in the newest hydrogen technology for vehicles with over 100 hydrogen fuel stations across Japan.
As a long-time OEM supplier, ENEOS is continuously developing highly specialised synthetic lubricants and transmission fluids that it sells under the ENEOS brand. To provide a “secret advantage” to drivers and riders, ENEOS develops high-performance motor oils for motor sports. that. ENEOS is proud of its role as a long-standing official sponsor of numerous racing teams including the Yamaha Racing Team in MotoGP since 2012.