With AMSOIL Executive Vice President Alan Amatuzio
Action News: As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the great majority of Dealers are familiar with you, but for those new Dealers and Preferred Customers who aren’t, please summarize your areas of responsibility.
Amatuzio: I’m involved in all aspects of the company, but my primary areas of responsibility include product development, laboratory research, manufacturing and all areas of technical services.
Action News: This issue of the Action News features the introduction of the new two-cycle oils. What was the rationale behind further specialization of the two-cycle oils?
Amatuzio: Two-cycle engine designs are changing and it’s absolutely imperative that AMSOIL provides the best possible products for those new designs.
Action News: What types of design changes?
Amatuzio: Direct fuel injection and exhaust power valves have been incorporated in two-cycle engines in efforts to improve performance, reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. As a result, we’re seeing leaner fuel-to-oil ratios and hotter-running engines, up to one-hundred and twenty degrees Fahrenheit hotter. This places additional demands on two-cycle oils.
Action News: And AMSOIL has met those demands with the new two-cycle oils?
Amatuzio: Absolutely. Our Fabulous Four 2-Cycle Oils, as we call them, are the best two-cycle oils in the industry. We’ve been working on these oils for a long, long time and that effort is reflected in the quality of these products.
Action News: What makes them so good?
Amatuzio: We have over thirty years of experience in blending synthetic oil. No one does it better. Like all of our oils, our new two-cycle oils are precise blends of the best base stocks and additives available in the world. We tested hundreds of formulations in laboratory settings and real world applications to ensure that the oils we introduced provide the best possible performance in the applications they were designed for. Our Interceptor Oil, for example, was designed to address deposit formation on exhaust power valves, a problem which ultimately leads to valve sticking and poor performance. That oil was tested in two separate field trials in over one-hundred snowmobiles prior to its introduction, not to mention hundreds of hours in laboratory testing. There was no valve sticking.
Action News: So what specific applications are the oils designed for?
Amatuzio: Each of the oils can be used in a variety of applications, but each is designed for optimum performance in limited, specific applications. We’ve created a chart that ranks each oil’s performance in different applications. Dealers and Preferred Customers will see that each market category has one oil recommended as excellent for that market. That’s the oil that should be used and recommended to customers.
Action News: And what are the markets each oil is recommended as excellent for?
Amatuzio: The HP Injector Oil is recommended as excellent for direct fuel injected, electronic fuel injected and carbureted outboard motors. The Interceptor Oil is recommended for snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft and jet boats. The Dominator Oil is recommended for racing applications. And the two types of Saber Oil, Professional and Outboard, are recommended for small two-cycle power equipment and pre-mix outboards, respectively.
Action News: And these oils will replace the existing two-cycle oils?
Amatuzio: Yes. The HP Injector will replace the current 2-Cycle Injector. The Dominator Oil will replace the Series 2000 2-Cycle Oil. The Saber Professional and Saber Outboard will replace the 100:1 Pre-Mix 2-Cycle Oil. The Interceptor Oil is new to the line-up.
Action News: Will the current oils be discontinued completely?
Amatuzio: They will be available while supplies last.
Action News: It’s a pretty aggressive marketing strategy to introduce a whole new line-up of two-cycle oils.
Amatuzio: Yes, it is. But we’re an aggressive company. We’ve always stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to meeting the demands of modern engine design, and our two-cycle oils are no exception.
Action News: You’ve given the new oils an aggressive look, as well.
Amatuzio: Yes. Each has an aggressive identity. Think about it. Two-cycle engines are aggressive engines. They work hard, and the people who use them play hard and work hard. Names like Dominator, Interceptor and Saber speak directly to those people.
Action News: But it’s not all in the name. Can it be assumed that these oils perform as advertised?
Amatuzio: Better than advertised. You can count on that.
Action News: Do you see a big market for these oils?
Amatuzio: A huge market. And it’s a market where we’ve established a significant presence. Along with our Dealers, we’ve really capitalized on our snocross and supercross sponsorships. This year AMSOIL is the official oil of nearly every major snowmobile racing association in North America. We’re also the official oil of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships and have entered an agreement to become the presenting sponsor of the Loretta Lynn Amateur Motocross Nationals.
Action News: The new Torque-Drive™ Automatic Transmission Fluid is another interesting product. AMSOIL took a different approach with that product in terms of the formulation process. Talk a little about that.
Amatuzio: Castro® manufactured a synthetic transmission fluid called TranSynd® in conjunction with Allison® to be used in heavy-duty Allison® transmissions. With the introduction of this oil, Allison® established the Technical Engineering Specification-295 (TES-295), and only operators using TES-295 oils can extend drain intervals according to Allison® recommendations in bulletin 10-TR-99 Rev. B, and only those operators are eligible to purchase the Allison¨ extended transmission coverage (ETC) warranty. Although Castro® has since made that product available to other marketers, manufacturers outside that limited sphere are handcuffed. To achieve TES-295 is virtually impossible because Allison¨ has not made the TES-295 test stand available and has not established the necessary formalized field trial protocol. Therefore, AMSOIL performed a reverse engineering process on TranSynd® to uncover its chemical make-up, and then formulated a product based on the same type of chemical technology. Our product is a TES-295 quality fluid.
Action News: And AMSOIL can claim TES-295 quality without having run the tests?
Amatuzio: Yes, because Allison® did run the tests on TranSynd® and AMSOIL successfully reverse engineered TranSynd,® creating a fluid based on the same type of technology. Both contain PAO, both contain ester, both contain enhanced additive systems and neither contains VI improvers. Not even sophisticated laboratory analysis can accurately measure the differences between Torque-Drive™ and TranSynd®.
Action News: What differences will Allison® customers notice when switching from Transynd® to Torque-Drive™?
Amatuzio: The only difference they will notice is price. Torque-Drive™, at commercial prices, is considerably less than TranSynd®.
Action News: How about the warranty issue?
Amatuzio: The use of Torque-Drive™ will not affect the standard Allison® warranty for defects in material or workmanship, and may only be challenged if there is clear evidence of a lubricant-related failure, in which case AMSOIL provides full warranty coverage. Torque-Drive™ does not fulfill the Allison¨ warranty requirements for those customers who have already purchased the Allison¨ extended transmission coverage. This is a separate contract that binds the parties according to its terms. Customers who are considering purchasing the Allison® extended transmission coverage should be aware that it can be very costly, ranging from $235 per unit for one year in school busses equipped with 1000 model transmissions to as much as $4,000 per unit for three years in busses equipped with a B500R transmissions. Allison® customers need to ask themselves where the savings are if they have to pay big dollars for additional warranty coverage which forces them to use the most expensive transmission fluid available. If Allison® customers consider Torque-Drive™ as an alternative, they will find that the standard Allison® warranty for defects in material and workmanship is not compromised and AMSOIL provides additional warranty coverage for lubricant related failures indefinitely.
Action News: Thank you, Alan. Any other new products we should know about?
Amatuzio: There’s always something brewing in our lab, but that can wait.