We talk to JLM Lubricants’ distributors about the automotive trends in their territory set against the global backdrop of rising prices.

UMT, JLM Palestine

“In some areas prices are dropping. Supply chain issues have driven the markets higher in costs and prices with an overall upwards trend. Used vehicle prices have also risen in the last two years. We’re seeing a drop in vehicle servicing with longer service intervals. From the supply side we’re seeing a significant flow of parts, oils, and additives. Demand still exists but customers have more options. The role of the vehicle technician is changing too. Nowadays they must be capable of addressing vehicle problems using diagnostics. The complexity of vehicle technologies now drives service market development and repair know-how capabilities.

We are seeing a rise in the demand for quality lubricants and additives too which is excellent for JLM Lubricants. The market is competitive, so quality is everything.”

Weboil, JLM Denmark

“We have seen an increase in electric vehicle sales. For example, in February the Tesla Model Y was the bestselling car in Denmark. Gasoline is still the most sold with diesel on a downward trend. Diesel vehicles will be banned from larger cities in a few years and older diesel cars without a DPF now face a  significant annual increase in taxes. Second hand car purchases have always been high in Denmark, due to the high price (because of taxes) on cars. New car purchases are currently lower than usual. Motorists are still having their cars regularly serviced but mechanics are reporting a drop in demand. Go back a few years and they were booked solid at least 2 weeks in advance but they can currently take same day bookings. Motorists keep their cars on the road for longer in Denmark, again due to high prices of new cars. However, there are strict rules regarding the condition of the car. So, in general cars are in a roadworthy condition. And motorists are turning to additives and lubricants to keep their car running smoothly. This is especially true of cars fitted with a DPF. The growing trend for the high-quality additives JLM produces has been rising for some time now.

Digiparts, JLM Greece

In Greece the average age of a passenger car is 16.5 years. This means that used cars outstrip new ones and the delivery time for a new car is over a year. The war in Ukraine has definitely affected new car prices, servicing costs and obviously the cost of fuel significantly. Maintenance costs increased by 20% within a few months so consumers are looking at how they can reduce their spending and avoid extra costs. Whilst most people are keeping their old car for longer, if they have to buy a car it’s a used one. However, used car prices have risen too because of the situation with new cars. Rising prices have had a knock-on effect on vehicle servicing with motorists only taking their car to a mechanic when they have a problem. Their overriding goal is for a lower price and not the correct repair. Because of this we’re seeing a strong demand for additives that are designed to repair rather than replace. In Greece motorists are not used to additives which means they are reluctant to invest in additives that are designed for prevention. There are some garages that use additives for prevention, and they pass this mentality on to their customers. However, they are the exception. This is why the JLM Lubricants’ range of  repair additives remain our bestsellers.

Manuel Pena, JLM  Portugal

In the Portuguese market we’re seeing a rise in the average age of the car fleet with more purchases of second-hand cars than new ones because of the long delivery times. There is also a growing trend to buy electric. The economic situation with rising inflation, in particular the rise in interest rates with the consequent increase in house rents is having a severe effect on the family budget. The family car is being kept for longer. When it comes to vehicle servicing, independent workshops have seen a rise in demand. This is reflected in the rising number of independent workshop networks. A sign this sector is expanding.

Vehicle complexity means that owners are unable to carry out many forms of maintenance. I see an immense and largely unexplored space for preventative maintenance using JLM products, not only by the professional but also by the end customer. The  paradigm shift is huge, with prevention being one of the most important issues for car maintenance and manufacturers. Car dealerships are now incorporating additives and services into their offering. The products that JLM Lubricants supplies are crucial in keeping the used car on the road and in good condition for longer.

Kingfisher Automotive, JLM Singapore

We are seeing an increase in car prices with people keeping their car for longer. We have a unique car quota system in the country. This is driving up the price of new cars due to the increase in demand caused by car rental and car sharing companies. In general, most people still prefer to own a new car for better reliability. We are seeing a move towards electric cars with the demand for old cars likely to decrease further. The price of spare parts and maintenance cost are increasing too as a result of general inflation. Most cars are still having regular servicing because they are tied to the car warranty system which is 3-5 years. But most owners are cutting down on expenses by using cheaper petrol and engine oil. The role of the professional technician in keeping a car on the road and in good condition remains very important.   As inflation hits nearly everything, the price of lubricants has increased by almost 45% . We position JLM Lubricants’ products towards the premium car owners because they remain committed to paying for quality products. Looking at the mass market, motorists are scaling back their spending using whatever tips might help them to save money.

Kalimex, JLM United Kingdom

The latest official statistics show that new car sales are growing again compared to last year, especially as the supply of semiconductor chips begins to return to normal.  However, compared to 2019, sales are still down 21%.  Around 57% of sales were petrol, 17% full electric and 12% hybrid.  The remainder of sales were diesel or ‘other’. Diesel engines continue to be punished following their demonisation by the UK government.  However, used car prices remain very strong because many buyers simply cannot afford to buy new during the current cost of living crisis where interest rates are climbing, and fuel prices remain high.  We are also seeing a reluctance to buy used electric vehicles due to the lack of trust in the battery and motor life, not to mention the very real range anxiety. Finding a charging point that is a) available and working and b) does not take hours to charge the car is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  With inflation and interest rates showing no signs of coming down it all points to a struggling market for new cars with used cars on the road for longer.

The key question is, will these used cars be well maintained?  The Motor Ombudsman has already raised concerns that car maintenance will be neglected as motorists look to save money.  A survey they conducted found that 32% of drivers said they would be spending less on motoring.  Challenging this are comments we receive regularly from technicians suggesting that the average cost per workshop visit / service is increasing. And that routine and regular servicing will prevent costly failures and repairs in the future.  It’s absolutely a false economy for a motorist to skip vehicle maintenance, especially as the average age of vehicles continues to increase.  Although a routine service bill might be a few hundred pounds, a major mechanical failure can easily run into the thousands.  For example, a replacement GDI injector can cost several hundred pounds just for the component, not including the labour required to fit it.

JLM Lubricants’ products continue to rise in demand and popularity with the professional technician and the motor factor stockist. We are seeing a noticeable increase in demand for regular servicing additives such as Diesel and Petrol Injector Cleaner, DPF Regen Plus and Engine Oil Flush.  And demand is rising for  distress products such as Engine Oil Stop Smoke and Diesel Extreme Clean. JLM leads from the front with quality additives and as distributors we have to keep on banging the drum that JLM can deliver a first-time fix!

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