LIQUI MOLY sets sights on billion-euro sales milestone

LIQUI MOLY reports that the German-based producer of motor oil and additives reached €917 million (USD$998 million) in sales in 2023, and the company's two managing directors say they have €1 billion in their sights for the coming year. 

LIQUI MOLY reports that the German-based producer of motor oil and additives reached €917 million (USD$998 million) in sales in 2023, and the company’s two managing directors say they have €1 billion in their sights for the coming year. 

The 2023 sales figure represented a 15 percent increase in sales. Furthermore, the company’s workforce expanded by more than 5 percent. Recent investments of more than €20 million at the German locations in Ulm and Saarlouis are intended to strengthen production and logistics.

“Our goal is to achieve a turnover of one billion euro in 2025. It looks like we’ll make it a year earlier,” says Günter Hiermaier. His colleague Dr. Uli Weller, who has also been Managing Director of the Ulm-based company for a year now, is equally positive about 2023: “The general conditions were extremely poor. We were hit hard by energy prices, logistics costs and inflation. We cannot and do not want to pass on the increased costs 1:1 to our customers. We are left with the lion’s share of the price increases. The only thing that helps is to make savings where it doesn’t hurt anyone and to sell more — worldwide.” 

The company says production and sales volumes are increasing. “We have reached our capacity limit in additive production. More than 18.5 million cans came off the production line in Ulm. Our expansion of production will provide relief here. We are planning 22 million cans in 2024,” says Hiermaier. 

Oil production in Saarlouis is also almost at its limit, the company says. 

“Investments worth millions are helping us to increase production volumes,” says Weller. In 2023, the oil plant in Saarlouis produced more than 9 percent more than in 2022 with 94,000 tons of lubricants. Motor oils accounted for the largest share, followed by transmission oils, according to the company. 

“Our filling systems for small containers are reaching their capacity limits with these quantities. We have invested heavily here to increase volume output,” says Weller. In general, the entire capacity limit of the oil plant is in sight, which is 120,000 tons per year, according to the company. 

“With constant growth, we would have reached our upper limit in three years if we had not continued to invest in the location,” Weller says.

Overall, LIQUI MOLY’s leaders say the company is still on track for growth. 

“We are maintaining our course of internationalization and strengthening our subsidiaries abroad. We are increasing staff wherever necessary. In 2023, we created around 50 jobs, which corresponds to a boost of 5 percent,” Hiermaier says. 

According to the company’s philosophy, the co-entrepreneurs (as employees at LIQUI MOLY are traditionally called) should be as well off as possible. In addition to the introduction of flexible working hours and mobile working wherever possible, additional financial benefits have been implemented for all 1104 employees. 

“We paid the full €3,000 inflation compensation and voluntarily implemented the collective agreement. This alone has resulted in wage increases of more than 10 percent in production, for example. At the same time, we are giving all our colleagues up to € 3,000 as a share in profit. This also constitutes good practice for us,” says Hiermaier.

The two managing directors are clear on where the journey is heading. “We will continue to grow. The billion mark is not the limit. We have our sights firmly set on the second billion,” they said.

The homework assignments have already been distributed to all co-entrepreneurs: Strengthening the export business, further digitalization, customer loyalty and product innovations in all areas, electric vehicles included. The latter is particularly important for the European market. ”Sales of motor oils and additives are likely to decline within the EU over the next two decades. Internationally, e-mobility plays a minor role. Nevertheless, we want to be strong as a brand in the EU, which is why we will continue to develop our existing range for electric and hybrid vehicles,” Weller says.

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