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August 16, 2017

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Calumet Expands Bel-Ray Brand

Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. will roll out three new Bel-Ray branded product lines for passenger car motor oils, commercial lubricants and industrial lubricants by the first quarter of 2018, replacing some products sold under the Quantum brand, the company announced on Thursday.

The new product lines will replace many Quantum brand products, though Calumet’s more popular offerings – including Quantum Economy AW Hydraulic Fluids, Quantum Economy Tractor Hydraulic 303, and Quantum GL-1 Gear Oils, GL1-90 and GL1-140 – will remain available under the current name.

Industry consultant Geeta S. Agashe, president of Geeta Agashe & Associates LLC, believes the decision may positively impact Calumet. “Killing off weaker or ill-fitting brands in their portfolio frees Calumet to focus its resources on the stronger remaining brands to position them more effectively,” she said in an interview. Agashe predicts the company’s supply chain efficiencies will increase as a result.

George Morvey, an industry manager at Kline & Co.’s energy practice also believes the change should benefit Calumet. “I only see upside potential for Bel-Ray and its product lines. The rebranding, when it’s complete and customers are fully engaged, should pay dividends to Calumet in the form of higher product volumes,” said Morvey.

He believes the company’s biggest hurdle will be distributing and gaining access to places where PCMOs are sold in large volume, such as quick lube stores and car dealership service departments.

Neither Morvey nor Agashe believes this will have a significant effect on the overall lubricants market.

The products are scheduled for release during this year’s third quarter and the first quarter of 2018. “Bel-Ray opted for a tiered release of the various product lines to facilitate a rolling change of inventory as well as take advantage of the availability of our new packaging,” Debbie Neubauer, Indianapolis-based Calumet’s vice president of marketing, said in an interview.

All products will be manufactured in either the company’s New Jersey or Louisiana facilities. Neubauer noted there will be changes to the finished lubricant formulation of some products, but declined to give specific details.