Like Aftersales Magazine, JLM Lubricants will be ten years old in 2020. Under the leadership of Gilbert Groot, the brand is internationally recognized at the top end of the additives market. Gilbert Groot looks back on ten beautiful years with a bit of pride, although it was not always easy…
“The creation of JLM stems from the importership for an additive for LPG cars. With this we had built up a nice network of customers throughout Europe. Because we no longer wanted to depend on one product, we started looking for other products that we could put in our network. And if you are driving yourself, you can also decide where you are going. ”
The launch of JLM Lubricants took place in March 2010 at Autotechnica in Brussels. For the stand, Gilbert Groot had a twenty-meter long shelving unit filled with JLM tins, all empty. “We had thought carefully beforehand about the types of products we wanted to market. Other brands have those products too, so we didn't have the illusion of being unique, but we wanted to make a difference. That means: not wanting to be the cheapest, delivering quality, offering a wide range of products and presenting them in attractive packaging. We received very good reactions to that, a sign that we were on the right track. In the autumn of 2010 we were able to actually present the product at Automechanika. Within a year and a half, we were sold in 65 countries, so that was a dream start. ”
GDI INJECTOR CLEANER
JLM focuses on the professional mechanic. “Our products must help the mechanic in his work. The consumer can also buy it, but that happens because the mechanic uses it. That is also often a demanding consumer. We made our own magazine as a calling card. A second edition has just been published. It is not an ordinary product catalog, but it also contains background articles, an interview with myself and a report about a photo shoot at Zandvoort. And of course our products are listed extensively. ”
Gilbert Groot divides those products into two groups. “We have problem-solving products and preventive products. Our diesel particulate filter cleaner is an example of the first group. If you have cleaned the particulate filter, you know that the filter will become dirty again and we have a means for that. We try to provide as many problem solvers as possible. We want to be very good at that. And we always try to offer one or two products that really put us at the forefront of the market.
An example of this is the GDI injector cleaner, which we introduced in January. Traditional fuel additives are less effective at cleaning those injectors. This is due to the nature of the deposit. We are one of the first suppliers of a GDI injector cleaner for the aftermarket. We really expect a lot from that. As of last year, about half of new cars in Europe with Euro 6 petrol engines are equipped with GDI technology. So now you can see that the problem with GDI pollution is becoming increasingly apparent, also in universal garages. ”
The electric car is advancing. JLM, with its additives for the maintenance of the internal combustion engine, will sooner or later notice the influence of brands. “We certainly don't close our eyes to that, but we don't immediately see it as a threat. Now we mainly focus on passenger cars. We have some very specific products for the truck sector and we could potentially expand that line. We could expand to the agricultural sector or to the maritime sector. If we stayed with passenger cars, we would be able to look beyond our current working area. And because we now mainly deliver to Western Europe, we could think of expanding to Asia, for example. ”
It so happens that JLM had a husband in Thailand before. That was not a success. “We thought Thailand would be a great hub for Southeast Asia, but due to the nature of the products, which are chemical liquids, you have to stick to certain storage and transportation rules. For example, certain documents must be added during transport. The Thai found completing such a hazard statement rather complicated and did not want to make mistakes, so that statement never came. That situation has dragged on for a long time, to end with the cessation of our activities in Thailand. ”
The US market also remained closed to JLM. “The chemicals must have a US approval number. These do not always correspond to the European ones and cannot be traced back. Having those chemicals tested in the U.S. is far too expensive, we're too small for that, so our products aren't available in the U.S. We are now ready to try again in Asia. We have been a good customer in Singapore for several years. Everything is well organized there. They have an importer for more European products and are familiar with the sale of those products in Southeast Asia. We have something to make up for in that market, but that is slowly improving. ”
Countries where things are going well from the start are Germany and England. “In Germany we have a number of large customers: Wessels + Müller, Schäferbarthold and ATU. I think it is a great compliment for the JLM brand that they want us in the range. And in England we have had an importer since 2012 and we have been working with DPF Doctor since 2017, which exclusively uses our products. DPF Doctor is a kind of mini formula. Universal garages that join this will also receive regional protection. You need training and you need certain equipment for it. As a result, the JLM Academy started last year, where DPF Doctor provides training. We send customers there, also from the Netherlands, who want to receive product training. We have set up a ready-made room there, with cars that we can prepare for it and where all equipment is available. There we can perfectly demonstrate what we can do with our products. ”
Read the full article on Aftersales Magazine in Dutch.