Lucas Oil says it is attacking the budget end of the oil sales market. PMM examines the possibilities this will bring for garages.
You know your customers. You know your oil. How well do you know the market for it? Engine oil sales to garage customers fit into different buying groups, according to Lucas Oil.
There are those who want to use a premium oil. Some of these are the high- performance vehicle owners. Others are classic car owners and the petrol heads, or just drivers who are protecting a significant investment in their cars. They care about the quality of oil that goes into their cars. They expect to pay a premium oil price.
A second group consists of people who are happy to accept the garage mechanic’s recommendation. This may include do-it- yourself customers with a previous history of vehicle maintenance success. It will feature the do-it-for-me customers. These are owners who appreciate that today’s cars are more complex than they once were and realise that a skilled person is required to maintain their vehicle properly. They might not know the difference between a 10W-40 semi-synthetic and a 5W-30 fully synthetic, but they understand that correct oil selection is important. They trust the garage to make the right decisions about oil grades and specifications.
The most common type of independent garage customer is drivers on tight budgets. They could be on low incomes, or simply people with old or low value cars. They are just as likely to be owners of newer cars who don’t care what’s under the bonnet. They have financial concerns that worry them far more than the condition of their car. They are all prepared to sacrifice the protection of a premium oil brand for a lower priced alternative.
As individuals, the members of this group spend little on oil. Collectively, they dominate the market and buy most of the engine oil but are unlikely to have a preferred brand. These customers are the targets for a new campaign by Lucas Oil and they represent a major opportunity for sales at garage level.
“Customers in this group buy more than 70% of UK engine oil,” says Lucas Oil Products (UK) Managing Director, Les Downey. “They are attracted by menu- priced servicing. They see budget-priced oil as their first choice.”
That is why the US oil giant has just introduced L.O.P Super Lube. There are 12 different specifications covering the most popular models in semi-synthetic and fully synthetic options. Lucas Oil says the L.O.P range will match or exceed the specifications of most competitively priced traditional brands. It’s seen as the ideal option for the menu-priced market. It is a premium brand, at a budget price.
Motorsport is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the UK. Karting, drift car racing, dragster racing, rallycross, motocross and stock cars are just some of many examples of racing disciplines that are enjoying the boom in popularity.
New 2107 sponsorship deals with Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire and Shakespeare County Raceway, in Warwickshire, will give the Lucas Oil brand significant exposure at two of the UK’s leading racing tracks. A surge in subscriptions for the brand’s 24-hour online TV motorsport service, MAV-TV, reflects both the boom in motorsport and the level of commitment from its fans – large numbers of whom choose the menu service oil option.
“Motorsports enthusiasts have to drive to a race meeting. You can see many of them at the trackside in their Lucas Oil caps and T-shirts. They identify with winners and Lucas Oil as a brand has associations with lots of winners across many disciplines,” says Les Downey.