PMF brings together three motor factors from three different countries to talk about what turned them on to JLM Lubricants and K-Seal; Ong Soon from Singapore, Josef Malmgren from Sweden, and Peter Griffiths from New Zealand.
From Singapore and Sweden…
Q. Why did you decide to supply products from the JLM range?
Ong Soon (OS): The deciding factor for us was the sincerity of Gilbert Groot, the CEO of JLM Lubricants. As a distributor, we needed time and resources to build the brand in our market. Gilbert assured us that JLM is in this partnership with us for the long term. The quality of the products matter a lot too. The products we deliver to our customers must perform to our promises. This is our business philosophy and this is what we see in JLM Lubricants.
Josef Malmgren (JM): It started a couple of years ago when I was selling products from another brand with a wide range of additives for the engine; not so much for the fuel system. When I visited a colleague, who is based abroad, I saw he was stocking an additive brand I didn’t recognise (JLM Lubricants). I noticed that the brand had a wide range of additives for the fuel system, especially for diesel cars, which made me curious. I did my research and then contacted Gilbert Groot to see if there was the possibility to distribute JLM products in Sweden.
Q. How do you market these products to your trade customers?
OS: We position JLM as the premium product in our market. We work with workshops that specialise in premium cars, as well as some premium car clubs to promote our brand image through their activities.
JM: I run an online store, where I try to be as informative as possible about the products and their uses. I work particularly hard on tailoring SEOs (Search Engine Optimisation), so that when people search online in response to a car problem, many will arrive on my website. For both workshops and retailers, I use direct mail.
Q. How knowledgeable would you say technicians are about DPF problems?
OS: I would say most mechanics are aware of DPF problems, but DPF requirements are not always strictly enforced here, so most choose to bypass the DPF.
JM: In Sweden, most mechanics outsource DPF work rather than keeping it in-house.
Q. In your opinion, what is the future potential for the JLM product range?
OS: Hybrid vehicles are a dominant trend in this part of the world. JLM should look into developing specific products for this market. I hope that the company will be able to provide workshops with a complete product range for their servicing needs. Brake fluid and coolant would also be useful additions.
JM: There’s huge potential already, just with the existing range, but when they start building petrol cars with DPF systems, JLM will be at the top of the leader board for developing a DPF cleaner for petrol cars.
…to New Zealand!
Q. What put K-Seal on your radar?
Peter Griffiths (PG): We had heard some amazing reports from the UK on the effectiveness of K-Seal and could see it would be of great benefit to NZ motorists, especially with our older vehicles. It was only after becoming the NZ distributor that we learnt of K-Seal’s global success. We now sell K-Seal to trade distributors and retail chains.
Q. How do you market K-Seal to your trade customers?
PG: For the most part, our trade distributors market to technicians by monthly leaflets, which are distributed by direct mail and in person by sales reps. We also attend many of our customers’ trade shows on a regional basis. We will probably attend at least 80 this year alone.
Q. What has been the reaction to K-Seal?
PG: We know that there are many similar established products sold in NZ, yet K-Seal is the leading brand amongst our trade and retail customers, which is a fantastic achievement.
Q. How important is trade endorsement?
PG: Very! If mechanics endorse your product, then sales will grow. What’s also very important is the independent testing and scientific results that K-Seal has been subjected to.
Q. How big is the market for K-Seal in New Zealand?
PG: With around three million cars on the road, the NZ market is approximately a tenth of the size of the UK market, which equates to around 25,000 bottles of K-Seal per year.
Q. What is the future potential for K-Seal?
PG: K-Seal has a great future in NZ, as we are only just scratching the surface of the market. There are still many consumers unaware of it. We are now making inroads into the industrial and marine markets.