Goodyear Lubricants will hit the market in December as a ‘new year gift’ to the Goodyear brand’s old and new customers in India. Plans are afoot to cater to all automotive segments by setting up 2 manufacturing facilities with distribution network under works. Sanjay Sharma, Country Head – Sales, Marketing & Operations, Assurance International-Goodyear Lubricants spells out the official stand on how the new range of lubricants will fill an unwritten gap in the Indian automotive market with assured quality and matchless performance. Efforts are on to go beyond Goodyear brand loyal customers with emphasis on ease of operation, reports Sarada Vishnubhatla
Goodyear Lubricants, developed by Goodyear in collaboration with Assurance International Limited, will hit the Indian automotive market this December in all its entirety which is inclusive of any vehicular segment and any consumer who is not necessarily a Goodyear user.
Sanjay Sharma, Country Head – Sales, Marketing & Operations, Assurance International-Goodyear Lubricants shares that launching a whole range of lubricants is but a natural extension of business line for Goodyear. The 120-year-old brand, that has been servicing the Indian consumer with dependable tyres for long along with the many other countries, will soon start manufacturing lubricants in India to suit every consumer need imaginable. The range will include oils for engines, transmission, CNG light vehicle engines, tractor engines, truck and bus engines, and diesel exhaust fluid, besides coolant, shock absorbers, hydraulic oils, greases, gear oil, and brake fluid.
He says: “Goodyear and Assurance International entered into a collaboration and the latter was appointed as the sole official manufacturer, marketer and distributor of the lubricants in India. The synergy between the two companies is visible in the intent to begin with. Assurance brings its technological expertise in the petrochemical business to the table. And for Goodyear, it is a natural extension to move into making engine oil and cater to customers who buy Goodyear tyres and others too. For us, the customer and the vehicle remain the same.”
The new range of Goodyear Lubricants has already been launched in the US, and the Middle East and plans are shaping up to move into other parts of Asia too, but by around middle of 2021. Assurance International, as the official licensee of the new line of lubricants by Goodyear in India, has carried out R&D along with Goodyear for 3 years prior to the launch.
Launching in COVID Times
Talking about Goodyear’s foray into a new business line in India at a time when all other businesses are in the midst of consolidation due to COVID pandemic, Sharma explains: “Goodyear is known for its passion for innovation, and they understand the customer needs. India, in terms of vehicle production, stands 4th in the world with close to 2.2 crore units being manufactured every year. India is the ideal choice for it is the 3rd biggest market in the world for lubricants.”
He says further: “We see the COVID pandemic time as a big opportunity to enter a market with a new business line. We feel that the potential is huge right now because there are close to about 36 crore vehicles as of now on the roads while not taking into account the current production numbers. In the next few months, when the COVID situation settles down further, the availability of our product will be timely.”
Goodyear Lubricants will be available as synthetic, synthetic blend and mineral based products and are manufactured using a patented technology. Sharma shares: “Our lubricants have mineral and synthetic base as per the need of the markets. The technology and the specifications have changed especially in the passenger vehicle segment. Our synthetic oils will cater to new as well as old conventional vehicles, besides catering to all types of applications in the automotive segment. In time, we hope to expand in other areas with more product lines as well.”
Goodyear Lubricants will be manufactured following all international standards as per the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute (API), besides fulfilling the new emission norms in India.
Advantage Goodyear Lubricants
Goodyear Lubricants are made to be suitable for variable temperatures and driving conditions in India. Sharma elaborates: “We source the best of the raw materials – the additives and the base oil – from the best suppliers in the world. We will ensure that our consumers receive the maximum protection and performance from our product. Goodyear Lubricants will come with a hologram because this industry faces fake products as a big challenge. The hologram will ensure that our consumers will get a genuine product from the right distributor.”
Building a Robust Distribution Network
Goodyear Lubricants is already in the process of setting up 2 manufacturing facilities in India – one in Mumbai, Maharashtra and the other in Haryana. According to Sharma, distributors are already being appointed in all the major regions in India: “Since it is a product that is consumed in the retail market and there are 1,50,000 outlets in India which are serviced by the distributors, we are looking at distributors pan nation. We are already receiving many queries too. We will be targeting the entire value chain that includes the distributors, the dealers and the mechanics, and the emphasis will be on the ease of operations because we believe in simplicity. We will ensure that it will be simple and easy enough for our consumers to understand and use our product. Our aim is to become the preferred business partner for the entire value chain.”
In a cost sensitive market like India, Goodyear Lubricants wishes to offer the consumer a value proposition.
Sharma feels: “Currently, the lubricant pyramid in India shows that 68-70% of the business comes from the entry level or medium level which is cost sensitive. We plan to offer not only value but also a cost-effective solution. Yet, cost-effective does not mean cheaper. Quality always comes with a price. We will be competitive in all the segments but primarily in the mass consumption level of the pyramid where the business lies.” And, Goodyear is ready with a strong market strategy and plans to take the India lubricants market by a storm!