Singapore’s Lopal lubricates into Thai market
LOPAL Tech Singapore Pte Ltd yesterday announced the official launch of its lubricant business in Thailand, with its flagship brand Trisonic set to penetrate the Kingdom’s 500-million-litre lubricant market.
The move is in line with Lopal Tech Singapore’s expansion of its lubricant business in Southeast Asia and eventually, it hopes, the global market.
Trisonic is a new global lubricant brand that was 100-per cent created and crafted in Singapore. The brand is owned by Lopal Tech Singapore, which is managed by a group of experienced professionals with decades of industry experience who have worked for some of the world’s biggest lubricants and performance additives companies.
Shi Junfeng, chairman of Jiangsu Lopal Tech Co Ltd, said the company sees great potential in Thailand for its Trisonic lubricant business.
“Thailand is our choice for the Trisonic global launch for many reasons. Thailand is the second largest lubricant market in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, with world-class lubricant manufacturing facilities,” Shi said.
“Thailand has a large vehicle population for passenger cars, pick-up trucks and motorcycles at 8, 6 and 20 million units respectively
“The estimated engine oil demand is at 110, 110 and 90 million litres respectively. Initially, we will focus sales and marketing efforts in these important vehicle segments to grow our fair share of market over the next five years. For confidential reasons, we are unable to disclose our sales targets,” said Shi.
He noted the lubricant market in Thailand has been dominated by PTT, but also includes competition from many global and regional lubricant players. The market has attracted new lubricant marketers because of its size.
“There are several major lubricant companies in Thailand such as PTT, Shell, ExxonMobil, BPCastrol which dominate the lubricants market. We believe the size of Thailand’s lubricant market provides opportunities for new brands like Trisonic. Trisonic products are positioned on a similar platform to global lubricant players. We will offer quality products to consumers that comply with API standards and Thailand Ministry of Energy approvals. One of our marketing strategies is to educate consumers on the importance of quality engine oils.
The consumers will learn to differentiate between high quality engine oils over price, and therefore select the right engine oil that provides optimal performance and protection for their vehicles,” he said. Shi said that the Thailand Ministry of Energy’s approval system for engine oils is one of the most stringent globally. “All Trisonic engine oils come with the Ministry’s approval number that provides quality and performance assurance to our global customers.”
He added that the total demand for lubricants in Thailand is at about 500 million litres per annum, of which 350 million litres are automotive lubricants.
“Another driving factor for the growth of the lubricant market in Thailand is the high vehicle population in the country. There is a total vehicle population of 36 million in the market, consisting of 20 million motorcycles, eight million passenger cars, six million pick-up trucks, and another one million trucks and buses. Thailand is also a regional vehicle production and export base for the world’s top carmakers, with annual vehicle exports exceeding one million units and the second largest pick-up truck market in the world behind the US. Thailand is also the fifth biggest producer of motorcycles in the world after China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam,” said Shi.
Sales of Trisonic-branded products have now commenced in Thailand and China, said Winston Fong, general manager of Lopal Tech Singapore. The company’s growth ambition for Trisonic is to expand the brand rapidly into Asia Pacific and Africa regions over the next five years, and to all potential markets around the world within 10 years.
“For Thailand, our initial manufacturing strategy for Trisonic is through contract manufacturing with a world-class lubricant manufacturer in the country to support local sales and export to other countries in the region. With business expansion, we will continue to expand our manufacturing footprint to bring us closer to our target markets and to better serve our customers,” he said.
Trisonic lubricants are designed to serve and meet the current and future vehicle technology around the world. Building on the latest technology in lubrication science, Trisonic engine oils are specially formulated to provide optimal power efficiency, outstanding performance and maximum protection to all engines, he claimed.
“We want all of our customers to be fully confident that using Trisonic engine oil will enable them to achieve a “Tri Sonic” experience,” said Fong.
“Trisonic represents best-in-class products and service, guided by global market trends and consumers’ needs and demands. Our products are developed through on-going new product research and development to serve and meet the current and future vehicle technology. Our top-tier Trisonic engine oil products are registered and approved by API and further supported with official approval from Thailand Ministry of Energy, which is one of the world’s most stringent government engine-oil approval system,” he noted.
As a “total fluid solutions supplier”, Lopal Tech Singapore offer a comprehensive range of products that enable vehicles and equipment to perform better and last longer, according to the company. Their product range includes engine oils, transmission fluids, brake fluids, coolants and diesel exhaust fluid.
Fong said that the initial launch of Trisonic products in Thailand will cover a full range of automotive lubricants from passenger car motor oils (PCMO), pick-up engine oils, motorcycle engine oils, and heavy- duty engine oils (HDEO), to automatic transmission fluids and automotive gear oils. The price range will be competitive with other global brands such as Shell and BPCastrol, he said.
“Our target customers are those who fully understand and are convinced that good quality engine oils provide protection to their vehicles, transmissions, catalyst and emission systems, resulting in optimal performance.”
He said that the initial key marketing objectives of Trisonic in Thailand are to focus on brand introduction, creating brand awareness and an emphasis on why using good quality oil is important to vehicle owners and consumers.
For the next phase, the brand will focus on rapid expansion of retail channels such automotive parts distributors or suppliers, and workshops through close co-operation with exclusive distributors, he added.