At the 2018 ICIS Asian Base Oils and Lubricants conference in Singapore, Paul Nai, Lubrizol’s director of product management for Asia, delivered a talk on how the key markets in Southeast Asia are changing and leading to the need for higher performance lubricants to be used. The talk provided an overview the region by contrasting five countries: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines and also giving a more in depth snapshot of the first three with a look at trends and insights.

Click through the presentation below to see how the different markets in Southeast Asia are changing.


The Chinese automotive market has changed dramatically over the last twenty years and is forecast to continue to change and evolve. In 2000, out of the 46 million passenger vehicles sold globally only 1.5%, or 700,000, were sold in China. By 2020 it is forecast that over 83 million will be sold globally, with China now the largest market in the world and forecast to see over 24 million new cars enter usage. This growth in new vehicle sales is driving an increase in the total vehicle parc which is forecast to grow to over 249 million by 2020.

New emissions legislation and fuel efficiency regulations are being introduced which will see China begin to move ahead of other parts of the world and will lead to the introduction of new powertrain and aftertreatment systems.

For passenger cars, the use of turbo-charged direct injection (T-GDI) engines and gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) will grow quickly. In order to operate as required vehicles equipped with T-GDI engines GPFs are expected to require new higher performance, lower SAPS, fuel efficient engine oils.

Today, the use of T-GDI engines, introduced by OEMs as part of their powertrain strategy to meet China 5 emissions legislation, is leading to rapid growth in demand for lubricants that can mitigate the effect of low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) which can lead to engine failure. As a result, many oil marketers are launching lubricants that meet API SN Plus and many OEMs are introducing tests to ensure protection from the effects of LSPI.

Lubrizol is continuing to conduct extensive field testing of new additive and lubricant technology in China. Ensuring these lubricants not only meet the required performance specifications but have proven performance in real applications and duty-cycles in China is essential to demonstrating the value that these lubricants deliver.

Looking forwards, the Chinese automotive lubricants market is expected to continue to shift to higher performance, lower viscosity grade lubricants. Demand for lower SAPS lubricants, designed for compatibility with advanced aftertreatment systems, is also expected to grow as China 6 is introduced in 2020.