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Shell and ExxonMobil go head to head over product compliance

Shell launches controversial lubes marketing campaign that questions ExxonMobil product compliance.

In what has been suggested as an 'industry first', Shell has released a marketing video publicly claiming an ExxonMobil heavy duty engine oil has failed to comply with industry standards.

The extraordinary move followed tests using a sample of Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15W-40 at what Shell claims was an independent facility. The video goes on to state that, using the Volvo T-3 test, which is a core element of the API CK-4 specification.  According to the video, the sample also failed three engine manufacturer-specific performance standards for Volvo, MACK and Cummins.

ExxonMobil responded with an unequivocal statement:

“ExxonMobil stands by the quality of our products and has re-affirmed for our distributors and customers that Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15W-40 carries valid OEM approvals and API CK-4 licensing. In addition, Volvo has confirmed that the Volvo VDS-4.5 and Mack EOS-4.5 approvals for Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15W-40 remain intact based on the fully compliant data set originally submitted, which includes passing the Volvo T-13 engine test results for oxidation and viscosity increase at the more stringent Volvo limits."

The statement continues: "Beyond valid API licensure and OEM approvals, Mobil Delvac 1300 Super and Mobil Delvac Super FE have proven on-road performance in ExxonMobil controlled field trials utilizing 69 representative trucks accumulating 23 million miles. ExxonMobil cannot address the specifics of the test results Shell produced, because we do not have the data, but we are conducting a thorough investigation.”

Other organisations, including Daimer Trucks North America subsidiary Detroit Diesel Corporation, also came to Exxon's defence.

While the campaign is arguably one of the most provocative marketing strategies seen in the lubricants industry, some commentators have stated they would welcome more direct comparisons being made.

Tags: API, ExxonMobil, Lubes tech, Lubricants, Shell

Published 3rd July, 2018

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