Liqui Moly Managing Director Günter Hiermaier talks about electromobility, growth in shrinking markets and the future of the company.
For more than 60 years, Liqui Moly has been accompanying technological change in the automotive sector. Managing Director Günter Hiermaier believes the company is well positioned for the transition in mobility thanks to its wide range of automotive chemicals.
Should a manufacturer of motor oils and additives fear electromobility?
Günter Hiermaier: No, not at all. For us, this means additional business, as we can launch new products specifically for electric vehicles: recently they have been a gearbox oil for Tesla and a coolant for fuel cells.
However, these vehicles no longer need motor oil.
Günter Hiermaier: these vehicles don't anymore. But just think of the millions of combustion engine cars on the road right now. Even if combustion engine cars were no longer produced today, it would take more than 15 years for the last ones to disappear. We focus much more on the aftermarket than the original equipment market, and in the aftermarket this change will only happen gradually.
In addition, I would not dare to write an obituary for the internal combustion engine. It will be exciting to see how electrofuels evolve. Synthetic fuels produced in an environmentally friendly manner may prolong the existence of the internal combustion engine.
Despite this, the overall motor oil market will contract.
Günter Hiermaier: And we will continue to grow in this market as we continue to increase our market share. Modern motor oils are becoming more sophisticated in their manufacture, so many small oil manufacturers will not be able to cope with this change and will disappear from the market.
But there is no doubt: in the long term, the change in mobility will, of course, mean a major change for us. But we are not worried. We've always been at the forefront of new technologies, whether it's cleaning diesel particulate filters, LSPI problems, or ever-lighter engine oils. The product range will change significantly, but we remain the specialist in automotive chemistry.
60 years ago, Liqui Moly only had a handful of additives in its assortment. Nothing else. Today there are a total of almost 4000 products. We have a really diversified range of products. In addition to oils and additives, we also have greases and pastes, service products such as brake cleaners, car care products, underbody protection products, glass repair materials and much more. This offers the right products for each vehicle, for both combustion and electric vehicles.
What do you recommend to workshops for which oil change has so far been a positive element in frequency and sales volume?
Günter Hiermaier: Naturally, the workshops also have to change. Not only from a technical point of view, but also as sellers. Many workshops are great experts on a technical level, however, some are very reserved when it comes to selling.
It's not about getting the customer to buy services they don't need. It is about offering you services that make sense from a technical point of view and are in the interest of the customer; services you haven't thought about at all. Some examples of this are the preparation of vehicles or the cleaning of the air conditioning system.
For this purpose, the workshop will also be able to rely on Liqui Moly as a solid partner in automotive chemistry in the future.