FOSSER. Endless Possibilities. Motor oils from Germany. Interview with Ilona Wilms co-owner and director of Duran Lubricants & Chemicals GmbH
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FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

Having nothing to hide is a sign of honesty and maturity. This is a very important sign to partners, both existing and potential. autoExpert's experience shows that such companies and brands win in the end. This interview with Ilona Wilms, co-owner and director of Duran Lubricants & Chemicals GmbH, will be the first one in a series of articles about the FOSSER trademark.

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

- Frau Wilms, would you please tell us about Duran Lubricants & Chemicals.

- Duran Lubricants & Chemicals GmbH, founded in 2005, is a part of a group of West German companies located in Lower Saxony and owning modern facilities for refining, production and packaging of oils and technical fluids.

Duran Lubricants & Chemicals was established as a trading house that would export and promote certain brands of goods on the German and foreign markets.

FOSSER is the front brand of Duran. This is a new, innovative, very beautiful brand of the highest quality goods. The name is consonant with the words ‘further’ , ‘faster’ and ‘forward’. FOSSER is a brand for successful, well-to-do athletic active people. The motto of the brand is "Endless Possibilities".

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

All of our oils are made only from base oils refined from crude oil. We have oil approvals for passenger cars as-well as trucks from leading manufacturers: DB, BMW, VW, MAN, Volvo, Renault and others.

In Germany, we are the undisputed leader in the packaging of products – oils, antifreeze, washers, brake fluids, demineralized water. Customers of many other brands wait at least 5-6 weeks for their goods. And our finished products are shipped either immediately, or within a maximum of two weeks after ordering. We provide very fast logistics for large volumes of goods. We are able to dispense a huge amount of motor oils and other fluids, ranging from 250 ml (brake fluid) to 1,000 liters.

- Your company is an example of the globalization trend, when, in order to withstand the competition, enterprises are forced to specialize, to enlarge, singling out separate directions into independent operating businesses ...

- Yes. Not all refineries and oil blending plants have such large capacities for bottling and packaging products as we do. They can produce a lot, but not pour into bottles. Therefore, companies such as ours are created – specialists in packaging and logistics. Specialization allows us to respond quickly to absolutely any customer requests.

This is the trend nowadays.

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

- From the experience of the companies with which autoExpert works: a distributor, starting to work with a brand (spare parts, oils – or anything), estimating the quality of spare parts, range and price, he says: "I'm ready." He starts to work and runs into the human factor, poor logistics, a low percentage of shipment of the ordered goods ... And says: "To hell with that quality and prices, if I can't find a common language! They don't hear me there!" There is both a language barrier and other inconveniences. The system does not work well. There are the goods, there is a factory and the brand is good ...

-… but there is no mutual understanding and fast delivery. This is what we have. We also hire Russian-speaking employees. All our managers who work with the former Soviet Union speak German, Russian and English. Therefore, there is no language barrier. Of course, we try to find managers living in Germany who feel the mentality of people from partner countries. This is the first thing.

The second is our quick response. It never happens that we haven’t delivered something. We do not give a shipment date if we don’t have something. Basically, we always give our customer 100% satisfaction.

- Your managers have the mentality of the territory with which they work. And what about the Arab or the Latin American countries? Are there managers from those countries?

- Not yet. We employ people who speak German, English, Russian, French, and we are thinking about Spanish. But, as a rule, for the bulk of requests (and they came to us even from China), English is enough.

As for the Arab countries, we also work with them, and most of the people there speak English on a sufficient level for doing business. But we are studying their mentality, you can read about it in various sources ... So far, we have not had any questions regarding mentality. I would like to say that it is often easier to work with Arab and Asian clients than with potential clients from the post-Soviet countries.

- In which countries do you already work?

- More than 45 countries. Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon were added recently. We are constantly receiving new requests.

- This is already a quarter of the world. Not bad! So, oil with "Endless Possibilities", the best possible quality of oil ... This motto should work in the niche of inexpensive oils like 10W-40...?

- Definitely! This motto applies to all oils we produce. Even if we take a line of synthetic oil, I can responsibly declare that on the markets, especially in post-Soviet countries, there are a lot of oil brands that can be driven only for 5-7 thousand kilometers at best !!!, after which they simply need to be changed – because they already worked out their resource. The quality of our base oils and additives allows you to drive safely up to 30,000 km, even in countries with less than ideal fuel. I am absolutely calm driving my diesel Mercedes for 30,000 km in Germany.

Can you imagine the savings I make on engine oil and car-service?! Yes, we are more expensive, we belong to the premium group. But calculate how much money you are saving! Cheap oils never end up being cheaper.

Moreover, our products have very strong wear additives. We have a group of oils for heavy vehicles, with which the car manufacturer recommends driving up to 120,000 km.

- What are the advantages of your oil production line?

- Our oils are produced at a full-cycle refinery. To begin with, all base oils are paraffin-free. In general, few people know how to do it efficiently – at least I'm talking about Germany. I have not seen such installations in other factories.

All of our base oils are made from crude oil only. We work only with Kuwaiti oil. We categorically do not take used oil as our base.

- Is there a law in Germany that obliges you to use a certain amount of the base from "waste oil" in production?

- I don't know such a law. In Germany, the law prohibits the discharge of oil into nature, the law obliges us to collect used oil from those to whom we sell to and hand it over to a plant that specializes in the production of base oil from the waste oil.

- Do you have oils with added PAO, esters?

- Yes, of course. In addition to high-quality oils based on Group III, we have a line of oils that are produced with the addition of Group IV and V base oils – PAO (polyalphaolefins) and esters.

- It can’t be seen in your catalog ...

- The fact is that initially, when working mostly for the European market, such marketing is not required. We simply gave a description of the oil, its approvals and specifications, and proceeded from the certificates. But the eastern market is demanding. Therefore, now we, of course, will describe the presence of PAO and esters in the catalog to meet "multiple requests" of our consumers.

- When we first met, you said that you were the initiator of the birth of the FOSSER brand. All about the brand: canister design, visualization materials - is very beautiful! So as Dostoyevski once said: Beauty will save the world?!

- Yes. This is my idea. Let me explain why. In Germany, as in one of the most motorized countries, there are a lot of German brands, the Germans are used to ...

-… to utility and quality.

- Yes. They are used to everything being absolutely neat, a simple canister, an inconspicuous label. Even German oil manufacturers did not understand that in the foreign markets people not only buy based on knowledge and trust, like it is in the case when you are 100% sure of the quality, but also buy with their eyes. And this is true not only for women who go for a Prada or D&G bag, but for men as well. They also react positively when they see a good looking jerrycan.

Firstly, FOSSER has a very good and handy canister. It is designed so that it does not slip in the hand, so that it is comfortable for the consumer to hold and carry it, and so that it is easy to pour from. All those features where integrated in the cannister from the beginning.

The label was developed in a beautiful color scheme, a very high-quality hologram was made, which really enhances the protection against counterfeiting.

We decided to use in our canisters as many protection levels as possible. Because in my experience with other brands, there were many cases when others tried to counterfeit their oil. And the more colors there are in the label, the more ‘‘bells and whistles’’, constrictions (gradients), elements on the canister, the less profitable it is for them produce, and a fake will be easily noticeable. As we can see, fortunately, our canister is very popular, and have not yet met a single fake.

I negotiate with almost all of our clients, and many say to me: "Your oil is more expensive, but, perhaps, I'll take it from you, because I like yours much more: because of the canister, the label, the service, the appearance, etc. I will check it in the laboratory, and if your oil is of good quality, I will only work with you, I am ready to pay. "

- What is your personal experience in oils?

- I gained my experience in oils at the largest German oil company. I worked there for about 14 years, including in the export department. And all the experience that I have accumulated there, and with other brands, brought me to our new company. And I tried to make the brand as good as possible for the consumer.

My task was not just to make a canister that is different from everyone else, looks great on the shelf, fits comfortably in the hand, and is protected from fakes. But, also the task to make such a mold so that the canister produced in it would never break! Because when a container travels many thousands of kilometers, anything can happen…

All molds were made in Germany. We did not order them somewhere cheaper in China, Bulgaria or the Czech Republic. We made them at the most expensive German enterprises. Molds – with 2-4 sleeves. This means that the machine produces much more canisters per unit of time than if the mold were with one sleeve. Those who are familiar with the production of canisters will understand me.

Our mold is made of metal designed for large-scale production. Because when the mold is worn out, it must be returned for repair. And that’s where, you run the risk a failure in packing and shipping goods. Such a thing is impossible in our production line.

We have been working with our molds for over 15 years. Yes, there were some parts that needed to be changed - for example, the neck was getting worn out. But this was quickly fixed.

On the bottom, we made an imprint of a "flying" F. The more details there are - the higher the chance that the counterfeiters miss something.

Nowadays, many refuse holograms, because they are expensive in production. But I think this is an advantage for our clients.

The bottom of the canister is ribbed and very stable. All stiffeners have been thought out and calculated well – our canisters can be stacked on a pallet of 7-8 levels, and they will not break. As a result, a larger number of pallets fit in the truck. If, for example, a pallet of oil is an added load to a lightweight freight, а client is able to bring a larger volume of goods at the same cost.

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

- All the nuances are clear about the canister. And what about the barrel? After all, more than half of your volume is sold in barrels ...

- Yes, lots of.

- It is also difficult to protect oneself there. Say, they sold the oil from your barrel, filled it with something else – and sell it again as "FOSSER" ...

- We put this on the shoulders of our distributors – it is in their interests to control it. In fact, if a distributor or a regional dealer takes such offenses seriously, they find the illegal traders quickly and shut down such an operation.

And if a complaint comes in, we react immediately and check the suspicious oil in the laboratory. It is always clear that the oil is not ours.

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

- Are you ready for a blind test in any European laboratory with any competitive brand?

- Of course! We have conducted laboratory tests in several labs around the world.

There are many countries, especially in South America, in particular Paraguay, in which, according to the law of their state, they do not accept a container until they themselves do an extensive laboratory analysis. And only after that the client gets the permission to import the goods into the country. Moreover, when each next container arrives at port, samples are taken again and a re-expanded analysis is done again. This is a mandatory requirement, otherwise it is generally impossible to obtain a license to sell oil in the country.

In some countries, it is impossible to import lube oil without SGS control (SGS S.A., Societe Generale de Surveillance is a Swiss company providing independent inspection, verification, testing and certification services. – rem.). It is a worldwide system of product quality verification and proof. They take samples, submit them to an independent laboratory OELCHECK, receive an analysis result and only then give permission to export the container from, for example, Germany and import it into another country. They check every container!

That is why I say that we have passed many checks, and I am not afraid – so you are always welcome to check, compare our oil for yourself.

We fall not only into the range of approvals for each quality class, where we always strive to be closer to its upper limit. It happens that SGS control and an independent laboratory checks and issues us a different quality certificate, of higher class than what we have initially stated. We are not greedy when it comes to additives nor save on base oil!

- Do you have GTL (Gas-to-liquids) oils?

- Sure. First of all, there is our, legendary among rally racers, FOSSER Drive RS 10W-60 oil. It is a fully synthetic oil made using this technology.

However, it does not cost a preposterous amount of money. If the oil is made entirely on the basis of PAO, it will be very expensive. And GTL is full synthetics that "pleases" your car and which the consumer can afford.

In general, what is the peculiarity of all our products: they delight the wallet, the heart of the buyer, and the car. This is what we mean when we say - "Endless Possibilities!"

- The visualization of the FOSSER brand is associated with athletes, powerful men.

- Yes, these powerful men visualize our motto "Endless Possibilities". In general, as I said, when the FOSSER brand was born, the concept was such that it was for fit and successful people. As a rule, everyone involved in sports is successful. Today the face of our company is the Bielefeld Bulldogs team – they are famous American football athletes who are situated in our city. These are not some kind of fiction athletes and not a purchased photograph – these are true athletes from our city of Bielefeld with whom we cooperate.

I have a picture of me holding a huge football player with my arms stretched ... Once again beyond the bounds of possible!

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

All over the world we hang up posters, billboards with athletes, and help to put our stickers on delivery vehicles. Across Europe, there is now a trend towards ecology, bio-products, proper nutrition, daily sports ... And we are trendy.

Though, there are countries, including Ukraine, where our salesmen also like to show the canister to make it clearer.
Meet them halfway.

By the way, we cultivate the trend of health and sports in our company. We have expensive chairs for our employees so that they watch their bodies, stretch their spine if they sit at the computer all day. Additionally, we pay for any sport for them: if somebody wants to do sports, we are pay for a gym membership, and say go for it!

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

And one more thing – on the topic of ecology. We are honest in everything and we have nothing to hide or understate. Let me comment on some of the rumors about the GVO. Like, if there is no GVO logo on the label, the oil is created specifically for foreign markets and is necessarily of inferior quality.
This is not correct and a manipulation.

Everyone can go to the official GVO website -, and read the following in general.

GVO stands for Gebinde-Verwertungsgesellschaft der Mineralolwirtschaft (company for the recycling of containers (cans) from petroleum oil industry). GVO takes care of the collection of used, completely empty industrial packing up to 65 l / kg all over the country (Germany). The GVO system is funded by licensing partners (us, manufacturers and brand owners). A license agreement with GVO allows us as a bottler and distributor of oil containers to apply the GVO label. The license fee (our contract fee) covers the costs of returning, processing and documenting oil containers (cans) entering the German market. The license agreement with GVO frees us from collecting and recycling used, completely emptied oil containers. So, we transfer our tasks to a reliable partner. That’s all!

According to German law, it is one of our tasks to collect and properly dispose of empty cans, we are obliged to do this. But we can transfer this task to another company. And all this applies ONLY to the territory of Germany. And if we transfer this function to a contractor company, then we pay them for every liter of oil and antifreeze sold ONLY in Germany. Therefore, as a company that knows how to count money, we print the labels for sale in all countries, except of Germany without the GVO logo and, accordingly, do not pay them for using their trademark.

- What is your price range?

- We are not insanely expensive. A little more expensive than the common "Made in Germany" – because it is impossible to make an absolutely high-quality product for little money. If people sell a "quality" product cheaply, one has to ask, what is poured there? Better yet, check it out.

Naturally, Prada cannot cost 20 Euro. Why? Because they have better designers, better craftsmen, the best materials, expensive and precise equipment ... And if you take a similar Chinese "leather substitute", from which nothing sensible is obtained, except as a low-quality and a not wearable product! We know about cases of children poisoning themselves with toys due to the content of harmful substances in the material from which they were made.

Our company is doing everything possible to change the world for the better! We want honest oil of excellent quality to be available to all people in the world, not only in Europe. And, as I have already said, not only a car owner, but also a car itself enjoys it.

It is appropriate to say here that for different regions of the world we produce oils adapted to every possible temperature conditions.

- What is your distribution policy?

- One country – one or several distributors, depending on the population size and the presence of distinct regions.

- What do you do with those companies that want to cooperate with you, but there is already a distributor in that country?

- Yes, as of right now we receive a lot of requests from different countries: "We need high quality oil, please." And if we already have a representative for FOSSER, then in order not to lose these customers, we have recently developed and created a second brand – ASTRON. It has not yet been advertised anywhere, but it is already starting to sell well. People received the first trucks, the first containers and are very satisfied with the quality.

Alexander Kelm

Manufacturer FOSSER
Duran Lubricants & Chemicals GmbH
Rodderheide 3-7, 33824 Werther (Westf.) Germany
fon +49 5203 901510, fax +49 5203 901515,

FOSSER. Endless Possibilities

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