ILMA Compoundings September 2017 - 13
Egypt is the largest market for
automotive lubricants in Africa, with a compound annual growth
rate of 3.6 percent from 2015 to 2020."
Meanwhile, major European automotive manufacturers
including France's Peugeot and Germany's Volkswagen and
Daimler have already set up plants in Nigeria. Last April,
Ford Motor Co. invested $170 million to expand its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa, to manufacture its new Ford Everest seven-seat SUV and Ford Ranger
vehicles. All Ford Everest cars are being marketed in Africa.
Against this backdrop, lubricant blenders will have to take
into account the heterogeneous automotive markets when
developing their products and marketing strategies.
"The older cars will use Group I base oils in general, and
the absolute requirement for synthetics will come from the
original equipment manufacturers in their warranty requirements. This could mean the demand for higher-quality lubes
will put pressure on lube suppliers to make these products
available," said Steve King, a lubricant consultant at SJK
Marketing Services in the United Kingdom.
Local availability of synthetics and low-viscosity lubricants might gradually improve. However, "Africa only
produces Group I currently, so it's a challenge to source for
base oils to make higher-quality lubes locally. This is one
reason why synthetics are only a small part of the market,"
Ching is a journalist and freelance writer based in