What is Castrol’s strategy for motor factors?

What is Castrol’s strategy for motor factors?

From sustainability and availability to education and support, Castrol National Key Account Manager, Courtney Forman, reveals the supplier’s motor factor approach.

Q. Considering growing environmental concerns, how is Castrol addressing sustainability in its products and operations?

A. “Castrol refreshed its top-up lubricant bottles in Europe with a new bottle design, which uses up to 20% less plastic in some bottles. The newly designed bottles come in half-litre, onelitre, four-litre, and five-litre sizes and have been available to all workshops and retailers from September 2023. They come with the additional benefit of being more compact on the shelf and easier to transport compared to the previous bottles.

“The introduction of the newly designed bottles is part of Castrol’s delivery of its PATH360 sustainability strategy that sets out aims to help save waste, reduce carbon, and improve lives. The company’s new five-litre bottle in Europe uses 20% less plastic compared to the previous fivelitre bottle, one of the best-selling products in the Castrol range.”

Q. Can you provide an overview of Castrol’s latest developments in the automotive aftermarket, particularly concerning product innovations and market positioning?

A. “At the start of 2024, Castrol unveiled a bold new ‘Onward, Upward, Forward’ strategy to meet the changing needs of customers:

  • Onward: advancing mobility solutions that help people and goods move with greater efficiency through innovative technologies and a commitment to the principles of circularity.
  • Upward: helping Castrol’s industrial customers, and the machines they rely on, to perform better, improving the efficiency of their operations.
  • Forward: exploring exciting opportunities and a path of progressive diversification. Castrol’s initiatives include end-to-end digital and service solutions, data centre immersion cooling, and battery thermal management. This forward-thinking approach underscores Castrol’s commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation.

“To remain at the cutting edge of innovation and be future-ready, Castrol is investing further in its global technology hubs and has a planned $60 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art EV battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK.”

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Q. What trends are Castrol closely monitoring, and how is the company adapting to these to stay ahead of the curve?

A. “The EV market is predominately becoming more prevalent in the automotive industry, and Castrol launched a range of advanced Castrol ON EV fluids in 2022, including EV transmission fluids, EV thermal fluids and EV greases.

“The market for EVs will most likely coexist with continued demand for ICEs and hybrids for many years. Castrol aims to keep helping ICE and hybrid vehicles be more efficient, while aiming to lead the way in EV fluids.

“Castrol will also focus on launching more ‘circular’ products and offers by reusing base oils, which are the main constituent ingredient in lubricants. More circular transmission fluid has already been tested in an extreme environment, with Jaguar TCS Racing successfully utilising Castrol’s transmission fluid in its Formula E race cars at the 2023 Monaco E-Prix.”

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Q. Could you share insights into Castrol’s newest products and technologies, emphasising how these innovations cater to the evolving needs of motor factors and their customers?

A. “A significant 15.7 million cars manufactured by mainstream OEMs across the UK, equivalent to 39.9% of the country’s car parc, can be serviced using just five MAGNATEC products. Castrol has ensured its MAGNATEC product line is a reliable and robust choice for motor factors and their customers to choose MAGNATEC as a primary lubricant for a high proportion of vehicles, including Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall cars.

“The most recent edition to the MAGNATEC product line is the new formulation that has been designed to meet the specific needs of Fiat GS1 and DS1-compatible engines, found in models, such as the Fiat Panda and 500, Jeep Compass and Jeep Renegade, and Alfa Romeo Mito. “Castrol MAGNATEC 0W-30 GS1/DS1 features a unique, patented DUALOCK technology that provides car engines with 50% better protection from warm-up wear and restart wear.

Castrol MAGNATEC 0W- 30 GS1/DS1 is designed for use across all Fiat petrol and diesel vehicles where Fiat recommends an ACEA C2 or earlier specification 0W-30 lubricant. The new product is the first Castrol engine oil to meet Fiat 9.55535-GS1 and Fiat 9.55535- DS1 specifications.”

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Q. Are there any collaborations or partnerships that Castrol is currently engaged in that benefit motor factors?

A. “In 2023, Castrol announced a three-year strategic partnership with Tetrosyl. It enables more motor factors and workshops to get enhanced access to the complete range of Castrol products.

“Motor factors are now able to order Castrol lubricants, along with products from other brands, such as QH, TJ Filters, Carlube, Bluecol, CarPlan and many more, through Tetrosyl and receive support via the Tetrosyl customer service team.”

Q. What are the key marketing campaigns and initiatives that Castrol is currently undertaking to engage with motor factors?

A. “To grow within motor factors, Castrol has structured a recommended stock pack based on in depth analysis. This analysis has looked at the UK car parc, the age of vehicles on UK roads, and the most popular oils that are needed or requested by customers. This analysis enables motor factors to purchase the fewest number of lubricant products which can cover the largest number of vehicles.

“It recognises the importance such matters have when it comes to motor factors managing their costs. Castrol continues to market stock packs, along with relevant merchandise and marketing materials, to promote and communicate products suitable for motor factors.”

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Q. How is Castrol planning to support motor factors through incentives? Are you able to elaborate on any specific initiatives aimed at boosting sales and encouraging upselling?

A. “Ensuring Castrol is visible to consumers is key to driving sales for motor factors. The company provides a range of support measures, from digital assets that can be used on websites, to a range of in-store point-of-sale and marketing material.

“Throughout the year, Castrol runs different promotional activities, including the opportunity for Castrol customers, who make a complying purchase, to win tickets to sporting events, including major football tournaments, F1 and MotoGP. Not only does Castrol provide exciting marketing activities aimed at driving purchases, but it also runs bespoke promotions to motivate purchases and the replenishment of stock.”

Q. In terms of supporting motor factors, what training programmes and resources does Castrol offer to ensure that staff are well-equipped?

A. “As engine requirements continue to develop, with constant advances in the market, Castrol aims to educate its customers to enable them to make educated decisions on which engine oils to purchase.

“Castrol takes on this responsibility in several ways: firstly, the company ensures motor factors have the recommended Castrol range to help reduce complexity for customers, which can often be overwhelming.

“Secondly, Castrol provides motor factors with point-of-sale and marketing materials which utilise QR codes to direct customers to Castrol’s online ‘product finder’ website. This enables consumers to input their registration and instantly receive an approved list of Castrol oils that are suitable for specific vehicles.

“Lastly, Castrol provides motor factors and consumers with easy-to-understand Castrol reference guides. These short booklets explain the different Castrol products and the makes and models that they can be used in. Castrol’s key objective is to ensure consumers are educated when selecting, checking and refilling engine oil, and that all motor factors can be confident about selling and recommending the Castrol product range.”

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