One David against many Goliaths
The engine oil specialist LIQUI MOLY succeeds despite competition from major companies
- LIQUI MOLY is the market leader in Germany
- Chosen most popular brand of lubricant in Germany
- Further growth worldwide
LIQUI MOLY with headquarters in Ulm, Germany, has continued to grow rapidly during the past year. The turnover figure for 1999 of 50 million euros increased five-fold by 2015. This is even more remarkable if we bear in mind that the direct competitors are globally active companies like Shell, BP (with the Castrol brand) and Exxon (with the Mobil brand). The David from Ulm is not only able to stand up to these Goliaths, it is able to win through: In Germany, LIQUI MOLY is one of the leading producers of engine oils and is the undisputed market leader when it comes to additives.
"We maneuver on the market like a speed boat, not a sluggish oil tanker. Every day we adapt our course anew to meet the demands of our customers", stated Ernst Prost, Managing Partner of LIQUI MOLY. For example as customers began to request a cleaner for the intake system on diesel engines - a service product, which up to that time had never been available on the market in that form. "Success also includes having a great team - not just employees, but joint venturers, who all work hard to satisfy our customers." A plan that bore fruit: between 2009 and 2016 turnover increased by €256 m to €489 m.
LIQUI MOLY sells primarily to wholesalers, specialist markets and workshops. The latter, in particular, profit from the fact that LIQUI MOLY doesn't just have a few products, but are instead able to offer a complete range to meet all vehicle requirements. In addition, in some countries the company is able to offer workshop concepts: They are able to order equipment and tools alongside consumable liquids and have their waste oil disposed of as well. In addition, there are advertising media, even down to the complete design of the workshop exterior, comprehensive training and application tips for professionals and a personnel intensive customer care services.
LIQUI MOLY sponsors sports events to further increase familiarity with our brand. The blue/red/white logo was clearly visible at the World Ski Championships as well as at Formula 1 events, during the World Handball Championships and in the German Football Bundesliga. Currently it is omnipresent at motor sport events around the world – particularly on four wheels with the LIQUI MOLY Engstler Team and on two wheels with Sandro Cortese and Marcel Schrötter in Moto2. In addition, LIQUI MOLY is exclusive lubricant supplier for the Moto2 and Moto3 series. Customers profit from the growing familiarity of LIQUI MOLY through increasing demand. Or, the other way around, this familiarity has a positive effect on our image. In the past few years LIQUI MOLY was selected the most popular brand of lubricant by the readers of the largest German automotive magazines.
Germany is the main market of LIQUI MOLY; some 40 percent of the turnover is achieved there. Whereas the demands of the market at home are already met, and growth can only be achieved by the displacement of competitors, the development aboard is a more dynamic process. The products are available in more than 120 countries. Here it is an advantage that the company produces solely in Germany, and "Made in Germany" is a mark of high quality, particularly in the automobile industry.
"LIQUI MOLY is already a success story in Germany", says Prost. "We want to continue writing that story abroad."
Keeping things moving
LIQUI MOLY grew from a small additive producer to a engine oil brand known all around the globe
- LIQUI MOLY has decades of experience in engine oils and additives
- Considerable growth over recent years
- Production in Germany only
At the beginning of LIQUI MOLY, there was a silvery glimmer. The glimmer came from molybdenum disulphide, a dark grey crystalline mineral. Founded in Ulm in 1957, LIQUI MOLY held the patent for production of this mineral and used the molybdenum disulphide as a basis to develop an engine oil additive. This additive improved the lubricating ability of the oil, lengthened the life time of the engine and even protected it when there was no oil left for lubrication. And even gave its name to company, liquid molybdenum disulphide, LIQUI MOLY. This product paved the way to success. From this one additive, an entire range was developed. Today it numbers in excess of 4000 products: Engine and gear oils, additives and vehicle care products, workshop equipment and service products.
In the meantime, the focus has shifted from additives to engine oils. Although LIQUI MOLY is up against big name competitors in the shape of large companies like Shell, BP (and the associated Castrol brand) and Exxon (and the associated Mobil brand), this medium-sized company has consistently nibbled away at the market. In Germany, LIQUI MOLY is one of the leading producers of engine oils and is the undisputed market leader when it comes to additives. Germany remains the main marketplace, but international demands are constantly increasing. LIQUI MOLY products are now sold in more than 120 countries.
This is reflected in the growth that has taken place over the last ten years, as the turnover of LIQUI MOLY (without MÉGUIN) trebled. Since 2006, MÉGUIN GmbH & Co. KG in Saarlouis, the most important supplier of oil to LIQUI MOLY for decades, has been part of the Group.
LIQUI MOLY doesn't just have its origins in Germany, it also only produces there. "The motto ' Made in Germany' is a quality guarantee that we live up day after day", says managing director Ernst Prost. "We win favour with the high performance of our products and not with cut-prices." The LIQUI MOLY brand has prevailed thanks to the proximity of the company to the customers. If a customer needs a product that hasn't yet been included in the range, it will be developed and made for them.
For years, LIQUI MOLY has been taking care of everything that moves. This isn't just restricted to cars: LIQUI MOLY products have since been used in industrial settings and, for example, in generators used in windmills. But the task they do is the same as it always was: Keeping things moving.
Everything a car needs
The range of products made by LIQUI MOLY is made up of engine oils, additives, vehicle care and service products
- Modern engine oils are high-tech multi-talents
- Additives protect the engine and save money
- Vehicle care products preserve the value of the vehicle
- Service products assist when it comes to repairs
LIQUI MOLY is one of the few full range retailers in the vehicle sector. The four most important product groups are engine oils, additives, vehicle care and service products, all "Made in Germany".
If the engine is the heart of a car, then the motor oil is its blood. But not all oils are the same. With the continuous development of engines, the requirements made of oil have also increased. Oil must now be capable of much more than just lubricating and cooling: It must function even at high temperatures and pressures; it must clean the engine from combustion residue, grit, acids, water and fuel particles; it must protect the engine from corrosion and keep its density. Modern engine oils are high-tech liquids designed specifically for used in certain car models, practically tailor-made replacement parts. As a result, the vehicle manufacturers only permit selected oils. Which oils are permitted in which vehicles can be seen using the oil guide on the LIQUI MOLY website. LIQUI MOLY has the right engine oil for every vehicle on the planet. The LIQUI MOLY engine oils have a wide range of permits from German car manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen, but also from foreign producers like Toyota and Mitsubishi, or they fulfil the requirements of the manufacturers. And even then there are differences: A manufacturer permit means that the oil fulfils certain minimum requirements. LIQUI MOLY goes beyond these minimum requirements and develops oils that, for example, have a higher cleaning performance than is demanded by the manufacturer.
Additives are vehicle vitamins: No car can manage without them. They ensure cleaning and corrosion protection, stable lubrication and temperature resistance. Even simple mineral engine oils, no longer suitable for modern engines, are made up of 15 percent additives. Additives are fed into the car each time you fill it up: Modern fuels are enriched with additives to, for example, increase the knock resistance of petrol and to make diesel less sensitive to minus temperatures. Then there are additives like those produced by LIQUI MOLY. These are added separately to fuel or oil. They help in certain situations, such as when abroad and using fuels that do not have the same quality as at home, or when low temperatures threaten to gel the fuel. They help the engine to cope better with greater loads such as short journeys and driving in city traffic. They help by cleaning and taking care of the entire engine system. And they help to increase the life time of the engine and to reduce fuel consumption. A long-term test carried out in conjunction with the Ulm local authorities has shown that buses with added "Super Diesel Additive" from LIQUI MOLY use 3.2 percent less fuel and thus save a considerable amount of money. This shows that the use of additives can also contribute towards reducing environmental damage. In addition to products designed for end users, there are special additives to be used in workshops, for example, to clean throttle valves.
Vehicle care products
A person applies cream to their skin when it is dry and cracking, and the same applies to the exterior of a car. Just like for our skin, this isn't just cosmetic, instead it serves the health of vehicle, the maintenance of the vehicle. LIQUI MOLY sells a wide range of cleaning and care products for the vehicle exterior, for example, polishes, waxes and shampoos, as well as leather care and cushion and plastic cleaners for the interior.
When something on the vehicle breaks, LIQUI MOLY can help: with materials for repairing exhausts; with rust removers and leak detectors; with brake cleaners and technical adhesives. If a screen needs to be replaced, LIQUI MOLY has the necessary sealants, adhesives and tools. In addition, the company offers materials for protection of the under-carriage and for sealing cavities and an entire range of accessories for cleaning the air-conditioning system.
LIQUI MOLY also supplies lubricants to industrial customers. They also offer a range of products designed especially to meet the requirements of commercial vehicles, motorcycles, boats and garden machinery. Thirdly, LIQUI MOLY also holds regular training sessions in workshops so that the professionals there are able to employ the products in the optimum manner. This contact with the people who use the products also brings about ideas for new products. If a customer wants a product that doesn't exist yet, it will be developed and made especially for them.
The LIQUI MOLY Group is made up of the two companies LIQUI MOLY GmbH in Ulm (founded in 1957) and MÉGUIN GmbH & Co. KG in Saarlouis (founded in 1847).
489 million EUR (as of 2016) (316 million EUR by LIQUI MOLY GmbH, 173 million EUR by MÉGUIN GmbH & Co. KG)
791 (as of December 2016) (527 at LIQUI MOLY GmbH, 264 at MÉGUIN GmbH & Co. KG)
|Production locations||Ulm and Saarlouis (both in Germany)|
|Export||To more than 120 countries|