Fleetowner 3530 Shell Rotella T6

Shell positions Rotella for “hard-working” professionals

Sept. 3, 2013

HAMBURG, GERMANY. During a sitdown with North American journalists last week in Hamburg, Chris Guerrero, global brand manager for Shell Rotella, provided updates on the Rotella brand, current promotions and some exciting events coming up for the brand.

The event was part of Shell Oil’s Global Media Event at the Shell Technology Centre, which itself is receiving several advances. During the conversation, it was noted that Shell is already undergoing testing on Rotella lubricant formulations that it thinks will meet the new PC-11 oil standards when they are finally announced before 2016.

He also gave a quick rundown of Shell’s market-leading position, including its 16% market share in the U.S. and 58% market share in the Auto Retail Channel category (this includes retail locations where Shell products are sold over-the-counter, ie. at a NAPA, Pep Boys, even Walmart). Guerrero also noted that the Shell Rotella brand now includes T3 NG for natural gas engines, T4 Rotella Triple Protection, T5 synthetic blend (10W-30 and 10W-40), and T6 (5W-40 full synthetic).

The Rotella family of oils has seen in excess of 80 million miles of testing since their introduction. “We haven’t stopped testing it since the day it came out,” Guerrero said.

Shell offers a limited 10-year, 500,000 mi. warranty program for users of the T6 Rotella oil and 10 years, 300,000 mi. for the other brands. According to Guerrero, use of Rotella T oils provides an approximately 22% reduction in engine wear.

During the discussion, Guerrero also ran down some of the marketing campaigns associated with the Rotella brand and also previewed a pair of new radio ad campaigns that should hit airwaves this week. When trying to come with the new campaign, Guerrero said the company looked at what the common theme among Rotella users is, who range from weekend warriors hauling boats and campers with their pickups to Class 8 truckers on tight time schedules.

“What we wanted to convey in all our marketing is theme of Rotella [being] hard-working,” he said. “There really is no application where you use a diesel engine that does not require hard work.”

So the Hard Working marketing campaign was born and is part of the current branding program of Rotella. There is also a website, www.rotella.com, which includes a fuel-saving calculator.

“It will give [the user] a cost-benefit [analysis] of choosing between Rotella T5 vs. T6, because you will see a difference,” Guerrero said.

For retailers, the company has launched a site dedicated to their needs. Located at www.viscocity.com, the site pulls together Shell product information and offers retailers rewards for participating in the program, which is free to qualified members.

New rewards have also been added to the company’s MyMilesMatter program, which offers reward miles to drivers for purchasing qualifying Shell Rotella products. The reward miles can be redeemed for a variety of items, including restaurant and retailer gift cards and merchandise. There are now over 100 different rewards to choose from.

MyMilesMatter members also gain access to exclusive online content and offers, along with the opportunity to participate in members-only events at industry tradeshows throughout the year.

Finally, Guerrero pointed to a relatively new effort that Shell will be involved in again this year. The company will sponsor the “Top Ten Haul of Fame Awards” at this year’s 10th annual Billboard Touring Conference and Awards show, to be held Nov. 13-14 this year in New York City. Shell Rotella will honor 10 companies that work behind the scenes providing the logistics and transportation of equipment for touring shows. It is the second year in a row Shell Rotella will be involved with the event.

One of the highlights of the Shell event in Germany was a tour of its Technology Centre, which is undergoing renovations with new state-of-the art capabilities.

“We’re investing tens of millions of dollars in this facility,” said Richard Tucker, general manager-technology for commercial fuels and lubricants, during opening remarks.

Tucker quickly ran down a list projecting the future of transportation; a list that includes an estimated 60% increase in the number of vehicles on the road by 2050.

“By 2050, two-thirds of the vehicles on the road will use current engine technology and conventional liquid fuels,” he said.

With more than 3,000 lubricant products worldwide selling in more than 100 countries, it’s easy to see why Shell remains bullish on the continued use of lubricants. The Hamburg Technology Centre, one of six worldwide, including a facility in Houston, Texas, is critical to supporting all those products and developing new ones, Tucker said.

The facility conducts research and development, provides technical support, and testing of products. Opening in 1956, the Centre employs more than 250 people, collaborating with OEMs and Shell locations throughout the world.

The renovations will add approximately 7 acres of land and modernization work on existing labs and test rigs as well as a new 27,000 sq. ft. main building.

About the Author

Brian Straight | Managing Editor

Brian joined Fleet Owner in May 2008 after spending nearly 14 years as sports editor and then managing editor of several daily newspapers.  He and his staff  won more than two dozen major writing and editing awards. Responsible for editing, editorial production functions and deadlines.

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