Jobbers World News
February 26, 2010

  • Pennzoil Introduces Its Most Advanced Synthetic, Pennzoil Ultra
  • Lubrizol Bumps up the Price of Additives
  • Contact Us With Your News

  • Pennzoil Introduces Its Most Advanced Synthetic, Pennzoil Ultra

    Today Pennzoil announced that it has introduced Pennzoil Ultra to its passenger car engine oil lineup. According to Shell, Pennzoil Ultra represents a "new tier" of engine oils, a tier Shell refers to as "super synthetic."

    So JobbersWorld put the question to Shell, we asked, "What makes Pennzoil Ultra different from other synthetics, what makes it worthy of the titles "the next generation in engine oil protection" or "super synthetic?"

    Well to sum it up, Pennzoil says, beyond just lubricating and protecting an engine, "Nothing keeps an engine closer to factory clean then Pennzoil Ultra." Pennzoil Ultra is specifically formulated to help keep engines as close to factory clean as possible and, Shell says, its performance "far exceeds the most stringent car manufacturer standards for cleanliness and protection." In addition to its ability to help prevent sludge and other deposits, Shell says it also cleans up existing sludge. In fact, Shell notes "Pennzoil Ultra cleans out over 35 percent more engine sludge than the brand"s next best oil, Pennzoil PlatinumŽ."

    To underscore these points of differentiation, Debbie Van Schalkwyk, Pennzoil Global Brand Manager, notes, "At Pennzoil, we recognized that an engine is in its most perfect state the day it leaves the factory. That's why we developed new Pennzoil Ultra motor oil molecule-by-molecule to seek out and dissolve contaminants safely into the oil before they form deposits or corrode the engine."

    Dr. Robert Sutherland, Pennzoil Technology Manager, adds to this by saying "As motor oil developers, we are seeing more and more engines with sludge and varnish, which can compromise performance and reduce efficiency." If left unchecked, Sutherland says, "Deposits on critical surfaces can restrict oil flow or act as insulators that can cause the temperature inside of an engine to rise to a point where damage may result. Maintaining engine cleanliness should be a priority for all vehicle owners to best protect the substantial investment they have in their vehicle."

    According to Shell, the superior performance of Pennzoil Ultra is a function of its patented Hyper Cleansing TechnologyTM. Shell says in addition to this proprietary technology helping to keep engines as close to factory clean as possible, it is designed and engineered to exceed the toughest industry standards. To drive this point home, Schalkwyk says, "In addition to exceeding the most stringent car manufacturer standards for cleanliness and protection, Pennzoil Ultra already exceeds the 2010 GF-5 specification's requirements for cleanliness and protection." In fact, "No leading synthetic outperforms Pennzoil Ultra in certain critical industry requirements covering American, Asian and European vehicles," adds Van Schalkwyk.

    For these reasons, Shell remains confident Pennzoil Ultra does in fact offer the next generation in engine oil protection, a step change in performance, and certainly qualifies as a super synthetic. In fact, Pennzoil is so confident and proud of the performance of Pennzoil Ultra that, Luis Guimaraes, Vice President, Shell Lubricants Marketing, Americas says, "We are backing it with a 500,000 mile, 15-year Lubrication Limited Warranty."

    Although it all sounds impressive and JobbersWorld was certainly intrigued by what appears to be a very compelling story about helping to keep engines "factory clean," you can be sure we asked some questions. The first is whether or not Pennzoil Ultra is blended with Group III base stocks or PAO (Group IV)? According to Dr. Sutherland, whereas some of the Pennzoil Ultra grades are blended with some PAO, Group III base oil is the primary type used, given their superior solvency for the product's cleansing capabilities as compared to PAO. He added, however, that the type of base stock in use is selected to aid the formulator in achieving the desired product performance.

    The next question JW asked focused on the detergent additive composition of Hyper Cleansing TechnologyTM. Specifically we asked if the detergent additive is based on such existing technologies as calcium and magnesium sulfonate, salicylate, or phenate? To this, Shell only said, "it's a new and unique, proprietary technology exclusive to Shell and unlike what we have seen before." Interesting to say the least.

    Then we asked about cannibalization. JobbersWorld's research uncovered that the retail price of Pennzoil Ultra will be very close to that of other synthetics, it seemed to us that Pennzoil runs the risk of cannibalizing its Pennzoil PlatinumŽ sales (for little to no added margin) by splitting the synthetic category. Pennzoil, however, feels "just the opposite will happen." Instead of cannibalizing the synthetic category, Ultra will effectively pull conventional and synthetic blend buyers up the quality continuum to synthetics and Pennzoil's Ultra.

    Whereas only time will tell how this plays out, Pennzoil Ultra is already in warehouses and ready to go. In fact, on the day you read this article, Shell says the new Pennzoil Ultra 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 viscosities will be available in major automotive retailers nationwide. In addition, Pennzoil Ultra 5W-40 and 10W-60 viscosities can be found at retailers and select installers servicing mostly European cars, or through Ferrari US dealerships.

    Lubrizol Bumps up the Price of Additives

    According to a number of lubricant blenders, Lubrizol announced a 5.5% price increase on its additives this week. The increase is reportedly effective March 15th.

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