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Pennzoil Gets Specific in Marketing New Line of Oils

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September 30, 2019—Pennzoil recently announced four new products for its gasoline engine oil lineup. They're being marketing not primarily for their SAE grade, but by their intended use for certain driving styles or engine types.

Announced on Sept. 16, the products are labeled as "Extended Care," "Start Stop Protection," "Maximum Power" and "Hybrid" engine oils. All of them are full synthetics.

The more narrowly focused marketing is an extension of existing oil types, like high mileage offerings. Shell Rotella, a division of Pennzoil's parent company, took a similar step with the recent release of a oil specifically for gasoline-engine trucks.

Layla Baughn, Pennzoil's global brand director, says that their new line came as a response to consumer interest and the company's effort to make oil choices more relevant to what they're looking for.

“We worked very closely with our technology team to see what would be the right formulas—each one is a unique formula—that we could tie back to the most relevant benefits and engine types that we were hearing in the marketplace,” she says.

The extended care oil is meant to promote engine longevity in both old and newer vehicles, Baughn says. The hybrid version is tailored for efficiency and comes in a 0W-16 grade. Maximum power is meant for performance in turbocharged and supercharged engines, as well as other "performance" models. 

The start-stop product isn't meant for the engine technology in newer models that cut off engines at stop lights. It's meant more for drivers in urban settings, traffic jams and similar conditions that put stress on engines.

“The issues of high temperatures, high load, the engine is running hotter," says Sean Nguyen, Shell passenger car motor oil scientist and technology trainer. "Those are the issues where we saw demand from the consumer side. And we focus on technology to support that and to protect not just the oil but the engine based on the extreme heat conditions that's being put on the oil.”

The new products aren't entirely new formulations. Pennzoil's product spec sheets show that the new hybrid 0W-16 oil shares the same physical characteristics are the company's existing Pennzoil Platinum 0W-16 full synthetic. Another example of matching characteristics is in the new extended care product and the existing high mileage synthetic, both as 0W-20 grades.

The products are more intended to help customers choose the right oils for their cars, as well as helping shops that provide Pennzoil a more tailored marketing opportunity for customers, Baughn says.

Nguyen says that they were able to rely on their natural gas-derived base oil allows technical teams to be very specific in their formulations.

“Those inherent properties of the GTL (gas-to-liquid) product allow us to build up from there and allows us to tailor our products to those specific needs for the consumer,” he says.

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