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October 19, 2016

Volume 17 Issue 52

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DIFM Customer Motor Oil Type Awareness High

About 75 percent of do-it-for-me customers are aware of the type of motor oil used for their most recent oil change, while 36 percent of such customers were aware of the oil filter brand used for their most recent oil change, according to NPD Group’s Do-It-For-Me Consumer Report 2016 announced last week.

The “type” of motor oil referred to whether the lubricant was conventional, semi-synthetic or full-synthetic, NPD said.

The DIFM survey did not gather information about brand preference, NPD told Lube Report, because the “awareness of brand used is less than 50 percent in quick lubes, and the share of consumers actively requesting a brand is less than a quarter of those who are aware of brand.”

When consumers need simple maintenance jobs, including oil changes, they’re most likely to go to a car dealership, but that preference declines as the vehicle ages.

The preferred type of vehicle service provider – dealership, quick lube or repair shop – shifts and varies, NPD said, depending primarily on vehicle age. The company noted that many consumers switch provider categories during the life of their vehicle. “For example, among DIFM customers still under warranty, 16 percent will consider transitioning to a new outlet in the near future, while more than one-quarter are unsure about how they will handle their future service needs,” the company said in a news release.

NPD found that consumers were mostly likely to consider quick lubes for simple jobs during the post-warranty period beginning after three years, while independent/local repair shops lead for advanced maintenance among vehicles eight years and older. Consumers rated quick lubes highly on speed and convenience, the company indicated.

NPD conducted an online survey to a nationally representative sample of individuals ages 18 or older in the United States. To be eligible, respondents must have owned or leased a vehicle, had at least some responsibility for vehicle maintenance and repair decisions, and had a service performed in the previous six months on their primary vehicle.

NPD’s Retail Tracking Service earlier this year found that premium motor oil sales at U.S. automotive aftermarket chains – high mileage and full synthetic – grew 10.7 percent in dollar volume in 2015, while conventional motor oil declined 7.1 percent. Factors cited included an aging car population and consumers shifting to more premium products to keep aging cars on the road longer, while many newer cars call for full synthetic motor oil. Total motor oil sales at aftermarket chains grew 1.7 percent to $2.6 billion in 2015, NPD found.