Questions from AutoParts Asia for interview with Gilbert Groot
1. Could you introduce JLM Lubricants in detail?
Your presence, manufacturing plants, distribution network etc.
I founded JLM Lubricants 9 years ago. Our base is Amsterdam in The Netherlands - a European top ranked trade and manufacturing powerhouse. Our laboratories are in Amsterdam together with our sales, marketing and distribution centre. This makes it a smooth process to bring a new product concept to market. We have everything ‘under one roof’.
Our mission has remained the same from day one. It is to create top performing, top quality products for the trade. We deliver what’s written on the tin. Compared to the really big brands we respond swiftly to market trends and to the requests from our distributors whether this means bringing a new product to market or launching a marketing campaign in days.
Every product we develop has a high concentrate of the actual working ingredients. We use additive packages only from the top tier chemical companies. We do not use any white label or untested ingredients. Our reason for existing is quality. It comes before anything. We are not interested in developing products that are low quality and cheap. We want to be better and to prove we are better. We were the first in the industry to work with the TUV in Germany to establish independent laboratory testing for our Valve saver fluid. Our DPF cleaner contains Cerium and Platinum for high performance, ease of use and safety.
With our fully synthetic performance oil, JLM Advance we have produced a product made by the same company that blends oil for the biggest oil brands in the world.
Before we bring a new product to the market we conduct laboratory and field testing working with leading chemists. We use top quality additive packages where each ‘ingredient’ has been extensively tested. We select the right mix for the right job. Our products are always designed with the professional motor mechanic in mind. They have to help with no compromises, performing on the most challenging vehicles with serious problems.
We sell our products via a growing and global network of distributors. It is their job with our support to introduce JLM Lubricants’ products to professional stockists and to the trade. We are in 40 countries. Our distributors are simply the best. I am always humbled by their commitment to JLM and their desire to promote our products with enthusiasm and precision to their customer base. We support our distributors with a range of high quality attractive sales and marketing literature including our newly launched JLM Drive – a glossy catalogue magazine. We have just launched a range of newsletters and point of sale materials aimed at the professional stockist and the professional motor mechanic. Great products still have to be marketed well!
Finally I would say this; we are a brand for today and tomorrow. JLM Lubricants is modern, contemporary, and innovative; never stands still. Always refines, improves, develops, and innovates. We challenge the big brands on quality and the service we deliver to our distributors; their customers and their customers’ customers.
2. JLM is a new entrant into the Asia market.
In your opinion, where do you stand now? What are your future plans? Your vision for emerging markets in Asia, Africa?
At the moment, we have less than 1% market share in the premium sector market that we are targeting in Vietnam and Cambodia. However this represents huge growth potential for us. We would like to see JLM Lubricants as a well known, highly regarded brand in every city in Asia. We want to grow our SE Asian business step by step. We consider Asia a priority market for JLM – a jewel in our crown. It represents a key growth opportunity that we can maximise by working with our partners in Asia. You know you’re reaching this point when you see your logo in premium workshops and on cars. We have started and had some fantastic results due to the dedication of our Asia distributors but there is more to achieve.
Although we sell into the African continent we have no plans in the short term to expand to Africa. That said should the right opportunity arise we will of course seize it.
3. What are the new developments in the lubricants’ market in the World, especially in emerging markets? What are the changes you expect to see five years from now?
We are seeing the trend towards low viscosity oil. And in the emerging markets, the hybrid cars’ population will increase in the next 5 years. Our products are already designed for the hybrid market.
4. With major markets including EU, the US and countries in Asia becoming Euro-6 compliant what challenges do you see in the future with regards to emissions?
With Euro 6, we see many opportunities in the Asia market. Most of the premium cars on the road in Asia are imported. With heavy traffic build up in most cities and fuel quality that is sometimes not up to the required standard, car owners will experience engine and emission issues on an ongoing basis. JLM Lubricants has a strong international reputation with proven products that solve emission problems. Our presence in Europe where Euro-6 has been implemented for quite some time will enable us to deliver these proven products to customers in Asia. As an aftermarket brand we follow the market. With regards to emissions these are dealt with by the OEs.
5. What percentage of your products is synthetic based and what percentage mineral oil based? How do you see this break-up improving in the future?
With regards to engine oil we only use synthetic oils. We do not anticipate developing any mineral based oil.
6. What is the USP of your products, your top markets?
As I mentioned earlier with JLM Advance we have a product made by the same company that blends oil for the biggest oil brands in the world. Our oil is mixed to the same formula and technically equivalent to OEM standards. We have developed it in response to suppliers in Europe and Asia asking for an oil with the JLM name on it. JLM Advance Premium Grade Performance Engine oil is one of the best oils on the market. It’s high-end oil for professional mechanics who respect quality and they want the oil in their workshop to have the JLM branding on the bottle. We don’t lower prices to meet poor quality product criteria in the market. We must stick to the high quality benchmark we’ve established.
The USP of JLM Lubricants? Quality. Quality and... Quality.
7. What are the new developments in the lubricants’ market in the World, especially in emerging markets? What are the changes you expect to see five years from now?
It’s difficult to predict but what I can say with confidence is that the requirements for lubricants will become more difficult. The emerging markets will follow the high tech European markets but at a faster pace.
8. With more penetration of e-mobility, how do you see the future of the lubricants’ market? How do you adapt to changes?
In the short term the market remains large with many opportunities for a high quality brand like JLM Lubricants to grow and to become one of the top 5 global brands in this sector – our long term mission. Mid-term e-mobility will most likely affect the industry and that includes JLM. We have plans in place for expansion into markets beyond the automotive sector including Marine, Agriculture and Heavy Duty.
Nowadays vehicle manufacturers are increasing drain intervals. What is your offering to support them?
This question does not apply to JLM
9. The price of crude oil is increasing on a daily basis. How will the market be affected by this change?
JLM will simply follow the price levels in the market.