As reported in the July 24, 2008 issue of
Jobbers World Online News, Valvoline launched
a national advertising campaign that takes on
competitor Mobil 1. The centerpiece of the
campaign claim Valvoline SynPower has "four
times better wear protection than Mobil 1."
According to Valvoline, the claim is based on
the industry standard Sequence IVA test. The
Sequence IVA is the industry standard test
for determining wear performance of an engine
oil and is required to meet the API SL and SM
requirements. Multiple tests showed that
Valvoline SynPower provided four times better
wear protection than Mobil 1, as measured in
these tests of 5W-30 grades.
ExxonMobil responded to the claim by saying
it was "not aware of any accurate technical
data to support the claim" and they requested
Valvoline provide the "substantiating data to
support this claim immediately."
Rather than backing down, Valvoline is
holding its ground, and turns up the heat.
Marketers say the received a letter from
Valvoline providing additional information
and data to support Valvoline SynPower's
significant performance advantage versus
Mobil 1. In addition, marketers say the
letter turns the table on ExxonMobil's
challenge and Valvoline is now challenging
ExxonMobil's claim for its Mobil 1 5W-30.
According to the letter, Valvoline says the
company conducted a number of tests and
commissioned an independent laboratory to
evaluate the performance of SynPower and
Mobil 1 in the Sequence IVA wear test.
Marketers were told the tests were run on a
5W-30 since it's the top selling grade.
Now for the interesting part...
According to a letter Valvoline marketers
received, the result from Valvoline's testing
- Valvoline SynPower's 5W-30 wear
performance is at least four times better
than Mobil 1 5W-30
- Mobil 1 5W-30 does not meet minimum API
SM or ILSAC GF-4 specification because of its
inferior performance in the Sequence IVA wear
The letter reportedly goes on to say that
Valvoline notified ExxonMobil of the failed
test results in September and that the
company take appropriate action regarding
their claim that Mobil 1 meets ILSAC GF-4 and
API SM specifications, or provide
substantiation that they in fact meet these
As of today, Valvoline told JobbersWorld,
ExxonMobil has been silent.