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Castrol Europe Auto Newsletter

Dear Partners,

 

Welcome to the first edition of the Castrol Europe Auto newsletter, which has been created to inform you of key developments across the automotive Castrol business.

 

This is one example of how we are listening to feedback and taking proactive steps to provide you with more information, so we can all plan and collaborate more effectively.

 

In this issue, you will read about some of the exciting initiatives that our teams are working on, how your customers could win a BWT Alpine F1 Team factory tour, as well as some of the new tools and campaigns being implemented to help you and your customers deliver the best customer experience.

 

You can also learn more about the Castrol 125-year heritage campaign, what’s next in 2024 for both EDGE and MAGNATEC, and how we will support you by providing essential training and resources for you to optimise your business. 

 

I hope you enjoy this issue, and please share any thoughts you might have with your Castrol Sales Representative on topics you’d like to know more about in the future.

 

Best,

Jaime

THEME OF THE QUARTER

Shaping a new strategy for Castrol in Europe’s CV market

Mike Baker, Castrol’s European Business Development Director, talks about reigniting the company’s commercial vehicle business in Europe:

 

You might question why Castrol is now looking to re-establish itself as a leading supplier of commercial vehicle lubricants. The truth is, globally we always have been! In major markets around the world, we have continued to develop and deliver high performance lubricants for on and off-highway applications. Now it’s time to develop our presence in Europe’s CV sector.

 

As part of the wider bp business, we have an integrated approach regarding heavy duty vehicles – encompassing fuels and lubricants, as well as their future role in low-carbon mobility. European roads are home to over 53 million commercial vehicles and these vehicles are the lifeblood of manufacturing, agricultural, and construction industries. However, the parc is ageing and maintenance has never been more important for the successful operation of a fleet.

 

We are broadening the capability of our CV operations, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Abhishek Roy as our new CV Brand and Product Specialist. In addition, we recently kicked-off a pilot with a small number of distributors to better understand the needs of the market. The intention is to widen this over the coming months, and we will value your thoughts and insights as we shape our plans and ambitions.

 

We have been working on a series of updates to the key marketing materials needed to win commercial vehicle business. This July, we will provide a refreshed product catalogue and brochure, alongside updated Product Technical Documents (highlighting backward compatibility with older engines), and revamped training materials for DSRs.

 

In the interim, if you would like to refresh your knowledge of our TRANSMAX range, we have some fantastic training content available within The Learning Campus.

 

CV promotion

We have also launched some new CV promotions and there is still time to get involved! Our promotional campaign covers the latest Castrol VECTON, TRANSMAX and CRB ranges that continues until July, or until stocks last. Please contact your Castrol Sales Representative for more information.

 

New CV products

 

As part of our ongoing effort to meet the latest industry specifications and OEM requirements, we recently expanded our VECTON commercial vehicle lubricant product range with the addition of VECTON LONG DRAIN 5W-30 E6/E9. This is a new fully synthetic engine oil formulated to lubricate and protect for longer.

 

This latest formulation replaces VECTON FUEL SAVER 5W-30 E6/E9 in our line-up and offers an upgraded specification profile that also meets the Association of European Automobile Manufacturer’s (ACEA) 2022 specifications for Heavy-Duty engines, including the new ACEA HD specifications E8 and E11. This reflects increasing hardware complexity and the growing adoption of alternative fuels.

 

We’ve also introduced VECTON 5W-30 F-TRUCK CK-4 to cater to the growing Ford Truck market across Europe. This is an advanced fully synthetic diesel engine oil specifically developed for Ford Ecotorq Euro 6 truck engines and meets the requirements of Ford WSS-M2C213-A1.

 

We’re in the process of introducing Castrol VECTON LONG DRAIN 5W-30 E7 and Castrol RADICOOL NF PREMIX GO coolant.

 

CASTROL VECTON LONG DRAIN 5W-30 will be replacing VECTON FUEL SAVER 5W-30 E6/E9 with new E6/E9, we will be renaming Castrol VECTON FUEL SAVER 5W-30 E7 to Castrol VECTON LONG DRAIN 5W-30 E7, to ensure consistent naming across the Castrol VECTON product range.

 

Look out in August for announcements on our progress to MB228.71, LDF 5/M3977 and VDS 5 product approvals.

 

Starting in June, your account manager will be in touch to share marketing and business development activities, helping your business to grow. We look forward to meeting with you in the near future, to discuss how to grow business in your region and learn from your invaluable experience in the sector.

 

Reach out: Mike Baker can be contacted at michael.baker2@uk.bp.com

PRODUCT UPDATES

A new breed of Castrol EDGE 

 

NEW TO THE WORLD. The first low viscosity product in the market with a: ‘Triple Longlife’ 0W-20 engine oil, combining three highest-tier long-life German OEM approvals:

  •   BMW Longlife-17 FE+
  •  MB-Approval 229.72
  • VW 508 00/ 509 00

Plus, Porsche C20; Meets Ford WSS-M2C956-A1

 

Castrol EDGE is our most advanced range of engine oils that can meet the most demanding specifications. We are excited to let you know that we are launching the next-generation Castrol EDGE 0W-20 LL IV formulation, the first lubricant of its kind to secure, simultaneously, the latest low-viscosity approvals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. The new product is suitable for use in petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles, and will be available to both consumers and workshops from June in 1 litre, 4 litre, 20 litre, 60 litre and 208 litre.

 

Rigorously tested for over 10,000 hours, Castrol EDGE 0W-20 LL IV works to reduce friction, increase efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. The new product has been designed to address many of the challenges associated with modern engines. While smaller, powerful units offer better fuel
economy, the greater use of turbocharging can increase the amount of pressure inside the engine – Castrol EDGE 0W-20 LL IV’s low viscosity formulation minimises the energy required to move it around an engine’s internal components.

 

To support your sales of this exciting first-to-market product we have developed a suite of new marketing communications showcasing Castrol EDGE 0W-20 LL IV as an example of ‘Rigorously Designed & Tested’ in action, and contributing to why Castrol is ‘Recommended by Experts’. The marketing content has been created in multiple European languages and will be rolled out across owned, paid and earned media channels from Monday 17 June 2024. Paid media - including B2B press, paid social, pay per click and targeted display advertising – will be activated in Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania, Spain & UK.

 

To find out more, please visit: castrol.com/uk/experts or contact your Castrol Sales Representative for more information.

 

Castrol MAGNATEC lubricant range expanded to cover even more of Europe’s most popular cars  

We are introducing two new specifications to the Castrol MAGNATEC product portfolio.

 

Castrol MAGNATEC 0W-20 FE is APPROVED for a range of Peugeot, Citroën, DS and Opel / Vauxhall vehicles that feature either the 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine introduced from 2018. The new formulation is compatible with PSA B71 2010, ACEA C5/C6, and API SP industry specifications, and is available to order now.

 

Meanwhile, Castrol MAGNATEC 0W-20 GSX/DSX has been designed to meet the growing number of vehicles that carry Fiat 9.55535-GSX and Fiat
9.55535-DSX specifications, and suitable for Euro 6 engines. It will be the first product variant suitable for both GSX and DSX specifications in our portfolio. Look out for this new MAGNATEC product from July.

 

These two new MAGNATEC variants, available in all European countries in small and big pack sizes, have both been developed to meet the unique demands of modern driving, where 75% of engine wear can happen at start-up.

 

We’re also making changes to MAGNATEC 5W-30 C3. We’ve improved the current formulation which will impact specifications.
The Formulation specifications will be: ACEA C2/C3, API SP; BMW Longlife-04; also meets FIAT 9.55535-S3, meets Opel OV 040 1547-D30/G30, meets MB 229.31/229.51/ 229.52. The formulation will lose Renault RN 0700/RN 710 and MB 226.5.  

 

Due to increased hazard statements on the back labels, we will be incurring a split SKU, resulting in SKU code changes for 60 and 208L packs for some countries. This will be communicated directly to those affected.

 

Please contact your Castrol sales representative for further details.  

MARKETING PROGRAMMES

Celebrating 125 years with some Castrol magic!

Race cars, heritage jackets, F1 factory tour…we are thrilled to announce our anniversary campaign, running from July through to October!

 

This major campaign will help drive sales through workshops, motivate them to sell Castrol and show car drivers why Castrol has been at the forefront of technical innovation and performance for 125 years.

 

Distributor promotion to drive sales into workshops

  • Receive specially designed heritage jackets, based on orders for EDGE, MAGNATEC and GTX (RN17 and C4 products) for purchases during July, August and September
  • We will be providing marketing materials to help you leverage the jackets to drive sales to workshops in September, October and November. Assets will include email templates, website banners, and social media content

 

Car drivers could ‘Win the drive of their life’

  • Win an all-expenses-paid trip to the UK, spending a day driving race cars on track at a PalmerSport venue, before heading to the BWT Alpine F1 team factory to see how Castrol performs in the most demand environments
  • Participants will simply enter details via Castrol.com for a chance to win, plus there are 20 runners-up prizes of a €125 voucher
  • We will be promoting this heavily across all marketing channels

 

Engaging workshop owners to advocate Castrol, and also win!

  • POS kits are being supplied to Distributors to help their workshops customers promote the consumer competition and encourage them to enter
  • A range of marketing materials are available to share with workshops, allowing them to promote via their own channels (e.g. website, Facebook)
  • To stop workshops feeling left out, if they share a picture of the POS live in their workshop, they could also win a space on the UK event!

 

Look out for specific communications coming soon, or please contact your Castrol sales representative for further details. 

 

 

FastScan – you talked, we listened

Our FastScan programme is a great tool to keep independent workshops informed of the latest Castrol news and content, while rewarding them for their loyalty. 

 

Earlier this year we spent time listening to our Distributor partners and FastScan workshop users, understanding what is working well, and crucially, where we can improve.

 

We have worked hard over recent months, implementing over 20 updates and changes, all designed to provide a simpler, more stable, and easier to use application. Some of the headline updates include:

  • Say goodbye to QR codes to claim points; app users can simply click a redeem button and points will be added to their account.
  • Want the FastScan demonstration app on your team mobile phones? Share their email and phone number and let us know their details and we can sign them up. (only in countries where FastScan is live)
  • Significant software updates have addressed key issues like the app freezing or showing error messages.
  • Distributor reports launched, allowing you to track workshop points and redemption

 

FastScan is currently available in Poland, Spain, Portugal and the UK. Marketing activity has been carried out in these countries to communicate the improvements and accelerate workshop sign-up.

 

Looking ahead, we will be launching FastScan in Germany soon, followed by additional markets in late 2024 and through 2025. We will keep you informed of further developments in the coming months.

 

Please contact your Castrol sales representative for further details.   

OPERATIONAL AND SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATES

Exciting updates to our Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) programme   

We are thrilled to share some exciting news regarding the implementation of our Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) project, which went live in September 2023. The first phase involved pilot distributors, and we are delighted to report that the results have surpassed our expectations.

 

Feedback from the pilot scheme includes:  

  • Pilot distributors experienced significant improvements in service levels and stock availability, leading to a more reliable supply chain
  • The ability to leverage lower Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ) is enabling participating distributors to minimise excess and obsolete stocks, particularly for slower moving items
  • Positive response to our new product introduction process
  • Back-orders have plummeted to almost zero

 

Many of you have expressed interest in implementing the VMI project within your own operations. We are excited to announce that we plan to engage with the remaining distributors in Q3 2024.

 

By implementing the VMI programme, you can benefit from:

  • Improved service levels and stock management
  • Optimised safety stocks and fewer obsolete product in your inventory
  • Enhanced efficiency and streamlined processes
  • Lower back-order levels and increased customer satisfaction

 

Our dedicated team is here to provide the necessary training, resources, and support to ensure a seamless transition and successful adoption of the VMI programme. In the meantime, we will continue to keep you updated on our progress and share more success stories from our pilot distributors.

 

Technical Helpdesk expanded for greater European reach  

Following the successful launch of Castrol’s Technical Helpdesk in October 2022, we’ve been working hard to deploy it in more European markets. The service allows workshops and final users to interact with a dedicated team of technical specialists trained to provide advice and resolve
queries.

 

The service is offered in partnership with Teleperformance, and it utilises AI technology to offer a multi-language service and an integrated
management of any requests. The phone-based service has been available for Italian and Spanish callers since April and for Polish callers from early June. This complements the email service already available in these markets.

 

The Castrol Technical Helpdesk’s phone and email services were also already available in English, German, French. An email-only facility is offered in Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Romanian, and Portuguese has been recently added to this list.

 

The Technical Helpdesk is free to use and is available five days a week, eight hours a day. The aim is to release extra time for you to focus on your customers and other activities.

 

You can contact the Castrol Technical Helpdesk by emailing: RotechService@castrol.com

CAPABILITY AND TRAINING

Increase your digital skills by attending our upcoming digital webinars

In response to your feedback expressing a need for comprehensive training on our digital tools, we are excited to announce that a series of four new digital webinars will be launched in September. Thesesessions will address specific areas of interest highlighted by you, including:

Each 55-minute session will be led by a Castrol digital expert, offering insights into best practice and answering your questions. 

 

Please look out for more details on webinar content and how to attend the sessions in the coming weeks.

 

Technical Capability Plan for 2024

The Technical Service Team developed a European Capability Plan at the beginning of 2024 to better support distributors regarding familiarity with
technical subjects and associated industry developments.

 

This plan has now been localised to focus on the needs of individual European markets. The Plan encompasses the provision of face-to-face training,
webinars, technical materials, and e-learning modules covering a wide variety of subjects. It is also tailored for specific transport specialisms, including trucks, agriculture, motorcycles and more.

 

We encourage you to contact your local Castrol technical specialists or your DBM to find out more about our learning offer.