Are Group III quasi-"Synthetics" Companies Price Fixing?

Messages
1,715
Location
Texas & BWI Area
I was pondering this today while mentally cursing out a Catrol Syntec 1-gallon jug on the wall surrounded by the Valvoline, Quaker States and Pennzoil so called synthetics. A)Since Mobil 1 is the only PAO/Ester synthetic and therefore a different product in entirety from production means to chemical composition vis-a-vis: B)Group III synthetics which are nothing related and presumably MUCH CHEAPER to refine, and that C)Group III manafacturers are unmistakeably indexing thier price to Mobil 1 . Is this Price-Fixing in the truest sense? Do you think the FTC will one day catch on to this and challenge it? On one hand I would think the petroleum industry as in cohoots with the manafacturer. Like the Big III guys in Detroit they are some what untouchable. Then again, it seems the FTC hunts down fraudalent wonder additive makers (Slick 50, Prolong, etc) all the time. Any thoughts? [Patriot]
 
Messages
1,871
Location
.
outrun , The FTC considers TypeIII as synthetic,no conflict here as far as their concerned. What Mobil1 should do is start advertising the benefits of TYPE 4&5 base oils. Let's see the replys to that!!! [Big Grin] That being said,I believe it's more in the additive package than the base oil. Look at Schaeffers(BobZoil).Kicks the dung out of OTC oil,IMHO. [Eek!] Mark
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
It was actually a branch of the Better Business Bureau that allowed Group III oils to becalled "fully synthetic." Castrol and Mobil both agreed to this agency for their arbitration. Any company will charge what customers will pay. Why not? The oil companies are only in business to make money. After all, people pay more per gallon for designer drinking water than they do for gasoline...go figure. Ken
 
Messages
2,480
The question then really becomes...do you think that M-1 is superior to the other 'synthetics' just because it's a PAO??
 

tai

Messages
54
Location
Austin, TX
Another question is, will Mobil 1 be a group III oil in the future. Same price + less expensive to produce = more profits. Hey, worked for the other oil companies. Consumers don't know better, so why not. That's what I'm afraid of.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
I wouldn't think "price fixing" would come into play unless ALL retailers were forced through coercion to sell at a specific price. The fact that Group-IIIs are selling for two and a half to three times the price of Group-IIs is merely the oil companies' and retailers' making the most of the BBB arbitrator's decision in favor of Castrol. That, and the apparant fact that enough consumers are (literally) buying into the notion that all synthetic oils are the same. (Too bad the arbitrator didn't require that any motor oil laying claim to the mantle of "synthetic" also had to list on the container what type of predominant base oil was used in the blend - in plain speak, "Group-III", not "CAS" mumbo-jumbo). I do wonder, though, whether at least the big name Group-IIIs also carry a certain blending of esters and/or other Group-Vs to fortify their performance more in line with traditional synthetics. Who's still actually manufacturing PAO base stocks besides Mobil, by the way? [Confused]
 
Messages
43,667
Location
'Stralia
As consumers you can go some way towards fixing it. Don't buy it. As to prices, the local Repco has started selling Mobil 1 for $63 for 5 litres. Syntec range runs at $85 for the same volume. (Hell I can get Redline for $100 odd). Magnatec is $34. Actually, scratch that thought. Stop buying it because it's overpriced, and they stop stocking it.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,000
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by tai: Another question is, will Mobil 1 be a group III oil in the future. Same price + less expensive to produce = more profits. Hey, worked for the other oil companies. Consumers don't know better, so why not. That's what I'm afraid of.
I wouldn't be surprised. First they get rid of the esters (supposedly) in SuperSyn, so what's next, they'll probably go group 3 too.
 

Al

Messages
19,246
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Patman:
quote:
Originally posted by tai: Another question is, will Mobil 1 be a group III oil in the future. Same price + less expensive to produce = more profits. Hey, worked for the other oil companies. Consumers don't know better, so why not. That's what I'm afraid of.
I wouldn't be surprised. First they get rid of the esters (supposedly) in SuperSyn, so what's next, they'll probably go group 3 too.

I wasn't really aware tht they decreased the # of Esters in the SS stuff. I seem to remember a post from Molakule where he indicated Mobil was 20% to 30% Ester [I dont know] Anyway-I really don't care if they do degrade to group III-there are other choices out there. At least we will find out about it at this board. [Smile]
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The question then really becomes...do you think that M-1 is superior to the other 'synthetics' just because it's a PAO??
Yes. Ken
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H: .... Who's still actually manufacturing PAO base stocks besides Mobil, by the way? [Confused]
Four that I've found are Neste (Finland), BP Chemical, Chevron-Phillips Chemical (equally owned by ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips), and ExxonMobil. I think that Neste, CPChem, and BP Chem mainly sell their PAO to others, as well as using it in their own products, especially industrial lubes. http://www.cpchem.com/pao/applications/applications.asp Ken
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Ken2:
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The question then really becomes...do you think that M-1 is superior to the other 'synthetics' just because it's a PAO??
Yes. Ken

"Group III base oils, especially those made using modern hydroisomerization...offer most of the performance advantages of traditional PAO-based “synthetic” oils...." http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/BaseOils/docs/ebot.pdf Ken
 
Top