Meet Xtreme Italian oils in Ukraine!
Note - in Ukrainian colors).
Such a coincidence.
The brand name is Xtreme. And it appears on our market really in the most extreme period of our life. This is another coincidence.
At the Automechanika exhibition in Frankfurt we interviewed Micaela Sed, co-owner and general director of the AxxonOil plant (Xtreme brand), and Lorenzo Fusca, export sales coordinator.
- Micaela, we know that your business is a family business.
- Yes, this business was founded by my mother Lucia Sed 30 years ago. Today she is 79 years old, she no longer works, but she comes to the office every day. She knows a lot about this business and helps us develop.
- Did your mother start it? WOW! How did it happen?
- Our family had a business, related to petrochemicals. In 2006 my mother met an engineer, who had relevant knowledge and experience in the production of oils, and in 2007 he inspired her to create another company with a new direction. The production site was established in Benevento, near the two main Italian ports - Napoli and Salerno.
Today it is also a family business, my husband works in the company, is in charge of the plant and its automation.
- How was the company created?
- In Benevento the government launched a new industrial zone with optimized taxation. Our company received a European grant for development.
Our company is called AxxonOil, but we produce products under two own brands, of which Xtreme is the leading premium brand. We try to keep up with the times and the Xtreme brand embodies all innovative solutions and advanced technologies, recipes and the latest specifications in the field of oil production. Xtreme products are characterized by high quality and improved technical characteristics.
- In which countries do you have representatives and buyers?
- In 37 countries. Today the structure of our sales looks like this: 32% - the domestic Italian market, the remaining 68% - exports, of which 25% - supplies to Europe, incl. to Switzerland, Germany, to other countries - Korea, Taiwan, Israel, countries of the Middle East and North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) and other to regions.
And this year we signed an exclusive contract with the Ukrainian company MSK Import.
- Do you develop recipes for oils or use ready-made packages of additives?
- We choose the most high-quality base oils and additives from global manufacturers Lubrizol, Afton, Infineum. And we make ready-made oils on our own blending equipment.
We buy mineral base oils in Italy from Eni and other European producers. Synthetic bases of group III, PAO and esters - also we buy only in Europe. We give preference to those, who have a higher quality product and better, faster logistics.
The volume of our base oil storage tanks is 800,000 liters, so we never have production delays.
- What is the production capacity of your factory?
- The production capacity of our enterprise allows us to produce up to 24,000 tons of finished products per year.
- In what price niche are your oils? Who are your competitors?
- In terms of quality, we are not inferior to world brands, and in terms of price - we are better.
We are among the five largest olive producers in Italy. By the way, the Italian market prefers to use local products, 60% of which are on the market.
- You have been producing oils for only 15 years. Can you say that you are a young company? How many people work in the company?
- There are only 19 people at the factory, because production is almost completely automated.
We plan to put the third production unit into operation, which will be completed by 2023. We plan to produce lubricants and white oils (for pharmaceuticals) on it.
Both production and products are fully certified according to European standards and have the approval of car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and MAN.
- How many varieties of oils do you make?
- More than 120. We produce almost the entire assortment necessary for any cars, special equipment and industrial equipment.
The idea is to have a complete range for any transport, industry and different markets.
At the same time, if we do not have a certain product in our assortment, we will make the agreed volume for it at the order of the distributor. We are very flexible and we pride ourselves on that. Customers love our flexibility. Because buyers are partners for us.
- How quickly will you be able to make a new product for you according to the needs of the market or for the order of a distributor?
- The technological capabilities of our production allow us to do this quite quickly, if for this purpose the market already offers a suitable package of additives with the latest classifications.
- Why don't you use bericaps?
- In our opinion, the type of caps we use provides reliable protection against counterfeiting.
- What can you tell us about your laboratory?
- We have two laboratories with modern equipment.
The first laboratory serves the production process - controls the input parameters of raw materials and output products.
The second laboratory is more specialized, in which we adapt the components to each other, check the results after test mixing.
Samples of finished products from each batch are stored in the laboratory for 3 years.
- Do you have a wornout oil inspection service?
- Yes, we provide this service for our distributors for free.
Lorenzo Fusca has been working for the company for a year and a half, before that he worked at AxxonOil as an export consultant and decided to stay because he liked the company.
- Lorenzo, how long ago did you start negotiations on cooperation with the Ukrainian company MSK Import?
- We met at the Automechanika Frankfurt exhibition in 2018. A number of circumstances prevented us from starting work then, including Covid19.
During the past year we have changed our work strategy. When Italy's economy was practically at a standstill, we focused more on exports, because starting something new inside the country was risky.
- Except MSK Import, were you approached by other companies from Ukraine?
- Yes, we were. But we chose this particular company, because we saw a team of professionals. We discussed the strategy of entering the Ukrainian lubricants market in great detail and for a long time. It was the strategy proposed by the company's management and their vision of development in the future, despite the difficult period in which Ukraine is, that inspired us and we saw a perspective in it.
It is important for us to have serious and reliable partners.
Our rule is one reliable exclusive representative in one country. We work only with those who agree to help the brand develop, who believe in our brand, share our priorities, values and rules of the game, which we build on a long-term basis of partnership.
- How do you help the distributor promote the brand?
- Depending on the specifics of the market, we discuss with each distributor separately. We invite everyone to the plant to get to know each other.
Interviewed by Oleksandr Kelm
Company website - www.axxonoil.com