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November 28, 2017

Volume 7 Issue 4

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SK Sets Bold Goals in China

SK Lubricants is aiming to strengthen its presence in China through a business alliance with global tire giant Michelin and a network of branded auto workshops.

The South Korean base oil and lubricants supplier said it entered into a partnership with France’s Michelin, the second-largest tire manufacturer worldwide, in November. Michelin will sell SK’s Zic-branded lubricants along with SK’s brake oils and transmission oils at its network of around 1,500 Tyre Plus car maintenance stores throughout China. 

SK expects the tie-up with Michelin to increase sales of Zic products in China, according to the company’s written statement. “We’re trying to increase contacts with Chinese consumers to raise brand image and awareness,” said Seong Jaedeok, head of the company’s China headquarters. The company aims to be among China’s top five lube suppliers by 2020, selling the country 1 million barrels of Zic per year, he added.

The subsidiary of SK Innovation Co. also opened its flagship branded  store in Shanghai in early November and plans to expand the network of  stores to the whole of China in coming years. The Shanghai store, which is equipped with car lifters, tuning rooms and washers, is anticipated to sell 3,500 liters of automotive lubricants per month.

The Seoul-based company said the Chinese lubricants market is currently the world’s second-largest following the United States, but it projected that China’s demand will top the U.S. by 2025.

SK has produced finished lubricants in Tianjin, China, since 2012.