Amsoil, boutique oils vs GTL/modern oil technology

Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
I've been doing some thinking about the future of oil technologies and their respective companies, and I'd like to throw out a few thoughts to kick around... I've used Amsoil for some time. Amsoil is clearly a high-end boutique synthetic that is of high quality. But I look around at all the synthetic oils offered at the local Walmart these days, and there are some high-quality, high-end synthetics sitting on the shelf that work out to be less expensive overall to buy (shipping being the deal breaker if simple price is not), and less forethought needed to buy them- just grab off the shelf when needed. One example: Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum, both synthetics that are made from natural gas for purity (Gas-To-Liquid technology). And across from the GTL oils are synthetic filters, like the Fram Ultra for about $9, which is arguably the best filter on the market for the money. So that leads to the main question... as much as I like Amsoil products, is there still a place for their products in the modern marketplace? Wouldn't readily available products like the Pennzoil/Fram combo I just mentioned be the logical purchase over anything Amsoil, Royal Purple, etc, currently markets? Will there continue to be a place for Amsoil and company going forward, or are there just too many innovative competitors out there now? Or am I totally missing something here?
 
Messages
202
Location
California
Given that any smaller oil company like Royal Purple and Warren Products (although they ARE in walmart....) can simply go to Lubrizol etc. and purchase an oil package to pass any targeted spec, the small oil companies have a chance to compete, maybe with a smaller profit per quart sold.
 
Messages
1,539
Location
Shippensburg, PA
Originally Posted By: boundarylayer
Marketing can convince consumers their oil is better. For example, look at http://www.pistonking.com/ . They may not have the army of scientists that SOPUS, XOM, Chevron, & BP have for proprietary stuff, yet they can outsource all that.
That "pistonking" site has the least technical data of any motor oil website I've seen. Prices are higher than a top quality "name brand" at WalMart. Do people actually BUY that stuff?
 

SwedishRider

Thread starter
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
The only real benefit I can see to a boutique player like Amsoil is the variety of products they sell. Amsoil has oils engineered for small engines and motorcycles, as well as high-quality transmission fluids and gear oils. But look at Amsoil's discontinuance of their EaO air filters. They openly said they can't compete with less-expensive alternatives and are having a hard time finding technologies that are better than competitors' products in that space. That got me to thinking about their other offerings.... how long before they can't justify fluid sales over competitors like GTL oils and other high-end synthetics? And then where does that leave end-users like me? With no shelf presence in most department and automotive stores and a growing number of technically equal or superior products on shelves at equal or lower prices, how can they maintain a competitive advantage? Again, don't get me wrong, I like and use their products. But looking down the road... one has to wonder..
 
Messages
40,761
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: SwedishRider
But I look around at all the synthetic oils offered at the local Walmart these days, and there are some high-quality, high-end synthetics sitting on the shelf that work out to be less expensive overall to buy (shipping being the deal breaker if simple price is not), and less forethought needed to buy them- just grab off the shelf when needed.
Some people refuse to shop at Walmart. If you're one of them, Amsoil prices may not be too bad as most other local B&M stores sell oil for significantly more than Walmart, or you have to hunt for occasional sales specials. Sometimes it's just convenient to place an order from the comfort of your lazyboy and have it arrive at your door step in a couple of days.
 
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
Amsoil will probably have a few tough business decisions to make over the next few years. They may have difficulty supporting their current line of products. Line extensions into new products/markets can be the quickest way available to sink the ship. The same is true for supporting lines that don't pay their way. It's going to be interesting watching what Amsoil does in the market place in the next 5 years. I don't think Amsoil is a big enough operation to survive a mistake but with their current place in the market and their name recognition they are certainly setup to survive and prosper as long as they continue to define their core market and stick with it. If WD-40 can do in a crowded marketplace, so can Amsoil.
 
Messages
25,836
Location
Upstate NY
I agree about the engine oils. But the selection of ATF and gear oils on Walmart shelves is very limited. That tells me almost no shadetree mechanics are changing their own ATF or diff fluid. I order Amsoil ATF and SVG gear oil.
 

SwedishRider

Thread starter
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
I agree that there are people who won't shop at Walmart (or many other stores) due to whatever issues they may have with the store. But that doesn't make the case that Amsoil can provide equal to or better value in its products and pricing. True I can buy Amsoil from my easy-chair... but I can also shop at Walmart.com (or Amazon, which I tend not to shop at). I'm still wondering if the case for Amsoil/Boutique players can be made over a Walmart/Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra combo. I'm starting to wonder if the writing may be on the wall.. frown
 
Messages
1,431
Location
Missouri
Originally Posted By: Donald
I agree about the engine oils. But the selection of ATF and gear oils on Walmart shelves is very limited. That tells me almost no shadetree mechanics are changing their own ATF or diff fluid. I order Amsoil ATF and SVG gear oil.
My local WalMart carries Castrol, Valvoline and SuperTech brands of transmission fluid. I've always just used the SuperTech. Never had any issues with it. I've never changed diff fluids at home though. When I worked at a garage I used a BG machine to change them out.
 

SwedishRider

Thread starter
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
Originally Posted By: Donald
I agree about the engine oils. But the selection of ATF and gear oils on Walmart shelves is very limited. That tells me almost no shadetree mechanics are changing their own ATF or diff fluid. I order Amsoil ATF and SVG gear oil.
I buy Amsoil ATF and gear oil (in addition to motor oil) and bring them to my preferred auto dealership when due for fluid changes, and they have no problem using them when servicing my vehicles. They always give me back what is left over from the fluid changes. But realistically, how many non-DIY motorists do that? I would have to think a very small number.
 
Messages
7,527
Location
North America
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
Amsoil will probably have a few tough business decisions to make over the next few years. They may have difficulty supporting their current line of products. Line extensions into new products/markets can be the quickest way available to sink the ship. The same is true for supporting lines that don't pay their way. It's going to be interesting watching what Amsoil does in the market place in the next 5 years. I don't think Amsoil is a big enough operation to survive a mistake but with their current place in the market and their name recognition they are certainly setup to survive and prosper as long as they continue to define their core market and stick with it. If WD-40 can do in a crowded marketplace, so can Amsoil.
Sounds right. With "Al", the founder in charge they may not change much; but if he steps down I think the younger leadership may aim for market penetration in stores, and possibly move away from the mlm sales force. Time will tell, stay tuned....
 
Messages
1,084
Location
Ontario , Canada
Originally Posted By: Kuato
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
Amsoil will probably have a few tough business decisions to make over the next few years. They may have difficulty supporting their current line of products. Line extensions into new products/markets can be the quickest way available to sink the ship. The same is true for supporting lines that don't pay their way. It's going to be interesting watching what Amsoil does in the market place in the next 5 years. I don't think Amsoil is a big enough operation to survive a mistake but with their current place in the market and their name recognition they are certainly setup to survive and prosper as long as they continue to define their core market and stick with it. If WD-40 can do in a crowded marketplace, so can Amsoil.
Sounds right. With "Al", the founder in charge they may not change much; but if he steps down I think the younger leadership may aim for market penetration in stores, and possibly move away from the mlm sales force. Time will tell, stay tuned....
I think this is what will have to happen as well as a pricing adjustment which they should be able to do so they can almost compete with the big companies . After that it will be the consumer who decides which product they feel suits their needs . Amsoil has a great line of products so if put out in some selective stores I think they can do well .
 
Messages
28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: SwedishRider
But that doesn't make the case that Amsoil can provide equal to or better value in its products and pricing. True I can buy Amsoil from my easy-chair... but I can also shop at Walmart.com (or Amazon, which I tend not to shop at). I'm still wondering if the case for Amsoil/Boutique players can be made over a Walmart/Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra combo. I'm starting to wonder if the writing may be on the wall.. frown
There are two issues here. Aside from those who dislike Walmart, or those places where Walmarts aren't cheap (Canada), there are also places that don't have Walmarts. Any of those reasons can keep a person out of Walmart and buying elsewhere. I can get RP from my supplier at a better price than I can get synthetics in the same package size from Walmart or Canadian Tire. Canadian Tire itself prices RP between M1 and M1 EP, which is fair. A local retailer sells Amsoil at prices that are not out of line with other synthetics on the market. If you go "more" into the boutique range, Red Line and Motul, for instance, are substantially more, but those are often purchased with specific goals in mind. I'm not discussing the validity of those goals and the reasoning, but suffice it to say that the average person buying Motul or Red Line up here isn't running it in his Caravan. Note that up here, PU is expensive, coming in at more than the last jug of Motul I saw. Yes, our pricing is weird. Another important issue isn't just dislike of Walmart or Canadian Tire or the fear of paying retail prices at a regular parts store. Some people don't like Mobil, BP, SOPUS, or Ashland, or may dislike all of them. There still is room for boutiques, and probably always will be. As long as there are people who like to change their own oil, like pretty labels, dislike Walmart, or whatever other insignificant reason I can come up with, there will be people buying boutiques. I've used RP in the past and will again. Heck, I'm using their gear lube, and given its availability and price, it really is difficult to beat. By the way, up here, I bet an Amsoil dealer could spank Amazon Canada on pricing. I know my RP dealer can.
 
Messages
523
Location
LaVergne, TN
AMSOIL has a place always. here is the thing.. nothing compares IMO to Signature Series. OE and XL is what should be compared to Walmart/parts store offerings.. which then its competively priced and very easy to get if you are patient for 3-4 days. shipping sucks I can't lie.. but I'd prefer to pay a Lil extra for an American based company, and a company that gives opportunities to people to be able to run their own business as a distributor. I am one. but I'm not blind to the offerings I give alternatives. to AMSOIL all the time for potential customers that decide to not use AMSOIL. cause I try to be customer service first. that's something you'll never get from Walmart.
 
Messages
2,935
Location
wi
Originally Posted By: Flareside302
AMSOIL has a place always. here is the thing.. nothing compares IMO to Signature Series. OE and XL is what should be compared to Walmart/parts store offerings.. which then its competively priced and very easy to get if you are patient for 3-4 days. shipping sucks I can't lie.. but I'd prefer to pay a Lil extra for an American based company, and a company that gives opportunities to people to be able to run their own business as a distributor. I am one. but I'm not blind to the offerings I give alternatives. to AMSOIL all the time for potential customers that decide to not use AMSOIL. cause I try to be customer service first. that's something you'll never get from Walmart.
Name me one motor oil Amsoil offers with oem approvals I can not get at Walmart cheaper I only want one not a list just one.
 

SwedishRider

Thread starter
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
Originally Posted By: dave123
Name me one motor oil Amsoil offers with oem approvals I can not get at Walmart cheaper I only want one not a list just one.
My intent is not to go down the road of bashing any company. I buy and use many Amsoil products, and I want them to succeed as a company. But the elimination of the EaO air filters due to Amsoil's inability to compete in that space (and not be able to build a product with significant competitive advantage- their words) is troubling. It implies that they are starting to look at lines that they don't have an innovative advantage with and will eliminate them when they turn unprofitable. I get it... that's how business works.... but is the scale destined to tip that way with things like motor oil lines and EaO oil filters? And their open admission that the DIY market is shrinking and the DIFM (Do It For Me) market is growing also is troubling as there are not many Amsoil installers (at least at this time). Maybe they need to start going after dealerships and mom and pop repair shops? I guess I'm wondering out loud if this is an unfortunate glimpse into what will happen with Amsoil product lines over time. I hope not, but again, eliminating EaO air filters for the reasons listed can't be a good sign. frown
 
Messages
523
Location
LaVergne, TN
Originally Posted By: dave123
Originally Posted By: Flareside302
AMSOIL has a place always. here is the thing.. nothing compares IMO to Signature Series. OE and XL is what should be compared to Walmart/parts store offerings.. which then its competively priced and very easy to get if you are patient for 3-4 days. shipping sucks I can't lie.. but I'd prefer to pay a Lil extra for an American based company, and a company that gives opportunities to people to be able to run their own business as a distributor. I am one. but I'm not blind to the offerings I give alternatives. to AMSOIL all the time for potential customers that decide to not use AMSOIL. cause I try to be customer service first. that's something you'll never get from Walmart.
Name me one motor oil Amsoil offers with oem approvals I can not get at Walmart cheaper I only want one not a list just one.
cheaper or not is not the discussion, this is the problem with the economic market.. everything is price driven. thus the reason mom and pop shops can't compete to get the same prices.. European formula is just one of em... www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil...-oil/?zo=515729 Manufacturer Approvals: BMW Longlife-04 MB-Approval 229.51 Porsche A40 Recommended For: ACEA C3 API SN/SM/CF... Chrysler MS-10850 (supersedes MS-10896) Ford WSS-M2C917-A GM dexos2™ (supersedes LL-A-025 and LL-B-025) Renault RN0700/RN0710 Volkswagen 502.00/505.01
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Messages
1,429
Location
quebec canada
There are always advance in oil techno .small place are often the early bird to implement these .since shell .bp(aka castrol)or mobil have board of director to answer to .small place like valvoline often adopt new techno some for good call some changed back because it isnt as great as expected .the big guns arent gona be the first to create a graphene base stock or whatever way oil industry will implement it.the small top guns like motul .red line and or amzoil are probably the one initially mass marketting it
 
Top