Building a Quick Lube Brand

Jan. 9, 2020

As a supplement to NOLN's January story about the launch of the VP Racing Fast Lube, here's another perspective about the growth of the DuraMax quick lube brand.

Editor's note: In January, NOLN covered the rise of the VP Racing Fuels Fast Lube network in "Creating a New Brand."  As part of that reporting, staff writer Abby Patterson also spoke with RelaDyne's DuraMax, which is a bit more established in the quick lube industry but is a relatively new player nonetheless. Here is that story.

Jan. 9, 2020—DuraMax hails from its parent company, RelaDyne, and showed up on quick lube maps only 10 years ago. The quick lube brand benefits from its parent’s strong distribution network, which is a huge asset.

“RelaDyne is the largest oil distributor in the U.S. DuraMax grew as the company grew through acquisition and organic growth,” says Bob Johnson, DuraMax’s brand manager.

DuraMax has grown to a network of 31 quick lubes around the nation. Johnson says the company has been able to snag a four-to-five-percent market share—impressive for a relatively young brand.

The DuraMax brand started out as an engine oil and transmission fluid, and overtime they got into the product and service lines as they began to pick up clients. The company informally developed a quick lube operator program for five to six years, and it was recently formalized.

“The company is completely focused on the installed segment,” Johnson says. “DuraMax isn’t a retail brand. You’re not going to find it in Wal-Mart, that’s just not where we’re focused. It’s creating significant value in the lube-operator space.”

When it came to marketing and cultivating the brand, Johnson says advertising is part of it, but it’s more about leveraging existing relationships.

“We have the largest sales force in the industry out there,” Johnson says. “Our sales team is out in the trenches talking to quick lube operators and sharing our programs.” 

The company has built partnerships within the autosports realm and Indy Racing as well, helping the brand get some industry recognition and credibility.

In the future, Johnson hopes to see the brand evolve even more and add more products for its shop network.

“We are completely focused on quick lube operators,” Johnson says. “We don’t have to do a lot of consumer advertising to get where we want to go.”