As a New Year gets underway, let me firstly take this opportunity to wish all of our OATS Bulletin readers and Happy, Healthy and Successful 2018.
So what do the next 12 months hold for the lubricants industry and its eco-system? Well, there are plenty of experts better qualified than me who are offering predictions for market growth around the world. Not least, the speakers at the ICIS conference which rounded off 2017, who highlighted potentially rich pickings for lubes producers and marketers looking towards Latin America.
The region is the latest to see a growing parc of new vehicles boosting demand for more sophisticated, higher-performing motor oils and associate fluids and that can only be good news not only for producers, but also the environment.
The announcement, finally, of a licensing date for API's SN Plus specification is further evidence of the continued progress in lubes technology. As highlighted in previous Bulletins, this drive for improvement is partially legislative, partially OEM-led and - perhaps most importantly - from the lubricants industry's own motivation to maximise the potential of its scientists and product teams around the world.
In fact, that scientific world continues to expand - evidenced by the, perhaps surprising, announcement of Miller Oils' new hi-tech production plant in Azerbaijan. The initiative was taken by the rapidly developing nation to approach the UK-based independent and the results are a positive collaboration between a forward-looking country and long-standing European expertise.
Technology is a fundamental element of all aspects of the lubricants industry. Electric Vehicle development, connected cars, onboard diagnostics being harnessed to boost marketing or voice recognition systems providing instant feedback to OEMs. All are driven by technological innovation and in 2018 OATS remains committed to developing leading-edge database technology to support the industry and drive growth.
For more information on OATS products and services, or to discuss any items in our Bulletin, don't hesitate to contact us via e-mail. In the meantime, have a good year!
Peter van der Galiën and the OATS team.