LIQUI MOLY has been supporting technological change in the automotive industry for over 60 years. Thanks to its wide range of automotive chemicals, managing director Günter Hiermaier claims the company is well-positioned for the mobility transformation.
Surely electric mobility must frighten a manufacturer of motor oils and additives?
Günter Hiermaier: No, not at all. For us, this means additional business because we can launch new products specifically for electric vehicles, most recently a transmission fluid for Tesla and a fuel cell coolant.
But these vehicles no longer need motor oil…
True, these vehicles no longer need motor oil. But just think of the millions of combustion-engine cars that are on the road now. Even if no car was produced with a combustion engine from one day to the next, it would take over 15 years for the last ones to disappear. Our focus is much more on the aftermarket than on the OE business and this change will only happen gradually in the aftermarket. I would also be cautious about writing an obituary for the internal combustion engine right now. It will be exciting to see how electrofuels develop. Synthetic fuels produced in a climate-neutral manner can still provide the combustion engine with a long service life.
Nevertheless, the overall market for motor oil will shrink?
And we will continue to grow in this market, because we will continue to increase our market share. Modern motor oils are becoming increasingly demanding in production, so that many smaller oil manufacturers in particular cannot keep up with this change and will disappear from the market. No doubt about it: In the long term, of course, the change in mobility also means a major change for us. But we’re not afraid of that.
We have always been at the forefront when it comes to new technologies, be it the cleaning of diesel particulate filters, be it the problems caused by LSPI, be it ever thinner motor oils. There will be significant changes in the product range, but we will remain the specialist for automotive chemicals. 60 years ago, LIQUI MOLY had just a handful of additives in its range. Nothing else.
Today, there are around 4,000 products. We are incredibly broadly positioned with our product range. In addition to oils and additives, there are greases and pastes, service products such as brake cleaner, car care, underbody sealant, materials for windshield repair and much more. This range offers the right products for every vehicle, for combustion engines as well as electric cars.
What advice do you give workshops for which the oil change has been a good driver of frequency and revenue?
Of course, the workshops will also have to adapt. Not only technically, but also in their role as salespeople. As expert as many workshops are on a technical level, some are more reserved when it comes to selling.
This is not about talking customers into services they don’t need. It is about offering them services that are technically sensible and in the customers’ best interests, but which they had not considered at all up to that point. Examples of this are vehicle detailing or the cleaning of air-conditioning systems. Workshops can continue to rely on LIQUI MOLY as a strong partner for automotive chemicals in the future.