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Total aims to stretch sales with partnership

THE rapid rise in its sales volume over the past four years in China's lubricant market has prompted French energy firm Total SA to partner TyrePlus (Shanghai) Auto Accessories Trading Co in order to stretch its sales growth.

Total's share in China's lubricant market is only about 1.5 percent now but its sales volume has surged 30 percent annually since 2005 in a market growing at only 5 percent, according to David Kalife, general manager of Total Lubricants China.

Total signed a long-term cooperation pact last Friday with the retail tire chain to combine retail distribution networks and marketing resources.

"With the new partnership, we expect annual growth rate to reach 35 percent, or even 40 percent," Kalife said.

He said the partnership would enable Total to "increase penetration and reach a wider range of consumers" in the world's fastest-growing auto market against a backdrop of a global slump.

Total sold 75,000 tons of lubricants in China last year, including 55,000 tons for auto use and 20,000 tons for industrial use. It aims to sell 65,000 tons of auto lubes and 25,000 tons of industrial lubricants this year, Kalife told Shanghai Daily.

TyrePlus, which owns more than 600 stores across China, is part of a network of independently owned tire outlets that French tire giant Michelin has set up through a licensee program.


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