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SK Lubricants Pushing to Join Ranks of Top Five in China Lubricant Market
Aggressive Marketing Strategy
SK Lubricants Pushing to Join Ranks of Top Five in China Lubricant Market
  • By Yoon Young-sil
  • September 28, 2018, 14:06
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SK Lubricants and FC Barcelona officials take a photo after signing a sponsorship contract on Aug. 18.

SK Lubricants, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, is accelerating its expansion in the Chinese market. The goal is to become one of the top five lubricant producers in China by 2020 with a customized strategy tailored to Chinese consumers.

Last year, SK Lubricants sold about 620,000 barrels of lubricant in the Chinese market. Since the establishment of the Chinese subsidiary in 2003, cumulative sales volume has reached 4.2 million barrels. China is the largest market, accounting for about 25% of SK Lubricants' total lubricant sales volume. China is the second largest lubricant market in the world after the U.S. and is expected to become the largest market in the world by 2025, surpassing the U.S.

SK Lubricants built a lubricant production plant in Tianjin, China, with an annual production capacity of 80,000 tons, in 2012. By starting operations at the Tianjin plant, SK Lubricants completed a value chain in China that is capable of producing, distributing and selling lubricant.

SK Lubricants launched a new high-quality lubricant product in Beijing on August 18. This new product complies with the “SN Plus” standard, which was newly established by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in May. (API classifies the lubricant product specification for gasoline from SA to SN. As the second alphabet is closer to Z, it is newer specification. Currently, only SJ, SL, SM, SN and SN Plus products are available in the market.)

New lubricants that meet the SN Plus standard significantly improves fuel economy, prevents low-speed early ignition, and protects engines. The new products are also suitable for vehicles equipped with turbo engines (T-GDI or GDI engines) that produce high output compared to their size.

SK Lubricants has signed a sponsorship agreement with world-famous FC Barcelona in Beijing on August 18, in consideration of the soccer fever in China. Through the agreement, SK Lubricants secured the right to use FC Barcelona’s logo and player images in all areas related to SK Zic. The contract will last three years from July 1, 2018, and will be applied to five countries including Korea, China, Russia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

SK Lubricants opened the “SK Lubricant Flagship Store” on the main road in Shanghai, China in November last year. It sells SK Zic products and provides comprehensive vehicle maintenance services. Thanks to good accessibility, many consumers are visiting.

In addition, SK Lubricants also focuses on online marketing. It is pursuing aggressive business growth by targeting online and off-line markets in China.