AFPM ’13: Antifreeze, lubricants strong in uncertain US economy

24 March 2013 20:52  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--When the economy is uncertain, US companies that cater to automotive maintenance can expect a strong year and 2013 will be no different than previous recession-like periods, a buyer said on Sunday.

“It is unclear what direction the US economy will take in 2013, but we think our sales will grow during this time of uncertainty. We tend to do better when the economy is weak,” a lubricant manufacturer said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

“The average age of a car on US roads is now much higher at 10-13 years old and in times of economic uncertainty, people will spend more money on maintenance before buying a new car, creating a boom for products like lubricants and antifreeze,” the buyer said. The buyer said he is estimating purchasing at least 15% more volume of raw materials than in 2012.

The age increase of the US auto fleet reflects how consumers cut back on new-vehicle purchases during an economic downturn.

Meanwhile, US automakers are hoping the advanced age of the current US auto fleet will push more new sales in 2013, especially with weak numbers from both Europe and Asia.

US auto sales rose 4% in February compared with a year ago. The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate inched up to 15.4m units.

Outside of the US, the auto markets are in decline. Europe recently reported that February auto sales were down 10% compared with 2012.

In Asia, the outlook is similar. The Chinese economy is expected to grow by only 7.5% this year, down from the double-digit gains it has posted over much of the past decade.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

By: Heather McGuire Doyle
+1 713 525 2653

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