• 05/12/2020
  • Corona-Krise

“World market leader in oil”

LIQUI MOLY Managing Director Ernst Prost on opportunities in the crisis

Dear friends!

Shell, Aral, Mobil, Castrol, BP. Total in France, Agip in Italy, Repsol in Spain, Petrobras in Brazil, Petronas in Malaysia, LUKOIL in Russia and Sinopec in China; dozens of the same type of oil in the USA – and, in each country, a few state-owned companies on top of these … These are our competitors, our rivals – some of them the largest corporations in the world. A few hundred brands in total, all wanting the same thing as we do: To sell motor oil. There are companies there that make as much profit in one day as we make in sales for the whole year. Just to illustrate the proportions. These are some heavy hunks that you have to clear out of the way to the finish line if you want to grow. Since we do 2/3 of our business abroad, we have no other choice than to face the top dog in every single country. You can’t just apply a cookie-cutter method; everything we set up in 150 countries must be tailor-made. Each country has its own culture, each consumer group has its own special requirements, and each competitor has his own special strengths. It’s an extremely long front we’re dealing with and we fight on it every day, usually offensively – but often enough defensively, when the motto of the day is: The Empire strikes back …

In normal times, our chances of breaking through at several points of this sales front simultaneously are not half as good as they are now in the crisis. An opportunity like this won’t be repeated soon. The last time, under the smokescreen of the financial crisis, we sounded the signal to attack – also worldwide. That was all of 12 years ago. At the time, we made up a lot of ground and overtook a number of competitors. Of course, it takes strength when you attack in many places at once. But the time is now again favorable to convince new customers of our capabilities and to win them away from the competition and to us. That, dear colleagues, is now the big plan, the master plan, which will lead us far beyond corona …

No matter where we go, we always encounter global players or local heroes, usually both. However: We have become the market leader and the best lubricant brand in the world’s toughest market, namely in our home country of Germany. Why should we not succeed in doing the same in other countries? In the meantime, we have become a force to be reckoned with and no longer just a small player. A general rule to remember is: “It’s not the big fish who eat the little ones, but the fast who eat the slow.” And we are fast, as well as ambitious, hard-working and smart.

The crisis gives us the opportunity to conquer markets that were previously very difficult for us to penetrate. Now we can show impressively what we can do, and what we are prepared to do for the individual countries and customers, in order to wow them with our comprehensive service package. We have taken the first step through our international online advertising campaign with 1 billion contacts. World market leader in oil … Why not? We got to the top in Germany and in some other countries as well. For 20 years, we have been working hard on making these visions come true. Never has the time been better than now. All right, let’s do it!


Ernst Prost