What many people don’t realize is that my research on synthetic motor oil began much sooner than the 1972 introduction of the original AMSOIL 10W-40. In the early-1960s, armed with the knowledge that synthetic oil was the only type of oil capable of withstandingthetremendousdemands of the engines in the jets I was flying, I reasoned why not bring that same technology to the automotive world? I was convinced it could extend the lives of automobile engines.
I submerged myself in the study of lubrication and began formulating and marketing synthetic oils of my own. After several years, thousands of hours of intense research and a variety of oils under a variety of names we ultimately created the original AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil. That oil was tested at Southwest research in San Antonio, Texas and became the first synthetic motor oil to “meet or exceed API Service Classification SE engine test targets.”
A clearly defined benchmark had been established. AMSOIL motor oil was tested, proven and documented by
a single authoritative source, and for the first time a commercially available synthetic motor oil had been officially designated for use in automobile engines. The introduction of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil in 1972 launched the synthetic motor oil market.
Nothing good in life, however, comes easy. The major oil companies and automobile manufacturers refused to recognize the superiority of our product. They fought us every step of the way. Then gradually, things began to change. Our Dealers were making progress and other circumstances came together to advance our cause.
In 1974 when Mobil 1 was introduced, many Dealers expressed concern. They feared that with a second synthetic motor oil now on the market, our sales would suffer. I knew, however, that Mobil’s near-limitless advertising budget would ultimately work in our favor. They would spend millions to help educate the public on the benefits of synthetic oil. They did, and we grew.
It was about this time that gasoline was in short supply and prices soared. fuel economy became a major concern, and gas-guzzlers of the sixties were being replaced by morefuel-efficientcompacts. As the need among consumers to cut
fuel costs increased, our Dealers capitalized with sales of lubricants that actually did make a difference.
Another event impacted the demand for synthetics. This one more subtle, perhaps, than the Mobil 1 introduction, but significant nonetheless, especially as an indicator of where the industry was headed. In early 1991, General Motors halted sales of the corvette Zr-1. eight engines had seized at its Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant. The temperature had dipped to slightly below freezing and, at start- up, hard-to-pump motor oil did not reach the front camshaft bearings. They were destroyed by lack of lubrication. GM responded by requiring the use of synthetic oil in the corvette. It was the first time an American auto manufacturer had required, not just recommended, the use of synthetic oil as a factory-fill. It was clear to me then that GM’s decision was just the beginning. More factory-fills would follow. The door had just opened a little wider for AMSOIL Dealers.
Not long after the corvette was treated to synthetic oil, virtually all the other oil manufacturers began introducing synthetics of their own. They, like Mobil, spent millions advertising their “ground-breaking” new products. The floodgates had opened, and as awareness among consumers reached an all-time high, our sales climbed.
Today, of course, consumer awareness has never been greater, and our reputation as the industry pioneer is firmly established. The AMSOIL track record speaks for itself. We have set the standards for lubricant performance and willcontinuetopushthoseboundaries.
A.J. “Al” Amatuzio
President and CEO, AMSOIL Inc.