Increasing passenger car count and growing commercial activities are expected to fuel the global automotive lubricants market between 2014 and 2020. The number of passenger cars is increasing significantly in Asia Pacific which has resulted in increased demand for automotive lubricants in the region.
Lubricants play a vital role in reducing friction and wear & tear in automobiles. The property to reduce friction is known as “lubricity.” A good lubricant is expected to possess different properties, namely high boiling point, high viscosity index, corrosion prevention, thermal stability, low freezing point and high resistivity to oxidation. Proper lubricant of the automotive and its parts increase the operating lifespan of vehicles, thereby providing higher efficiency outputs. Lubricants primarily contain 90% base oils and 10% additives. These lubricants are predominantly manufactured from mineral oils.
Synthetic lubricants are being widely accepted due to their environmental compatibility and technical benefits over conventional mineral oil-based lubricants. Synthetic lubricants offer high performance with outstanding engine protection. A vehicle requires less maintenance and has greater operating efficiency. The additives used in the lubricants play a very important role in improving the performance of the base oils. The various types of additives added to the base oils are viscosity index improvers, corrosion inhibitors, detergents, dispersants, metal deactivators and others.
The global lubricants additives market can be segmented on the basis of types into engine oil, gear oil, grease and transmission fluids. Engine oil is expected to dominate the global automotive lubricants market during the forecast period. Engine oils are also known as motor oils. They are used for lubrication of internal combustion engines and reduce wear and tear, improve sealing, cool the engine and inhibit corrosion. Engine oils captured more than 70% market share of the global automotive lubricants market. There are various standards for engine oil globally. Some of the organizations that benchmark these standards are American Petroleum Institute (API), Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) and Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles (ACEA).
Due to increasing disposable income in Asia Pacific countries such as China and India, the demand of cars has increased in the region. In 2013, China ranked first in terms of passenger cars sale. The region is expected to dominate the global automotive lubricants market during the forecast period. Europe and North America are very mature market for automotive lubricants. These regions use high quality and low viscosity lubricants to comply with the stringent emission norms. In Europe, the targeted permissible limit for carbon dioxide emission for a passenger car is 130 grams per kilometer for 2015. The targeted emission limit is further reduced to 95 grams per kilometer by 2021.
Increasing disposable income that results in increasing the sale of vehicles are expected to drive the global automotive lubricants market during the forecast period. However, stringent environment regulations are forcing the vehicle owners to use high performance lubricants that will result in lower carbon dioxide emission and better fuel economy.
Some of the key players in the global automotive lubricants market are BP plc, Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, ConocoPhillips Corporation, Fuchs Lubricants Co., LUKOIL Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Total S.A., Valvoline, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., The JX Nippon Oil & Energy Co. and Repsol S.A. among others.
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