Molybdenum sulfide the basic ingredient of the LIQUI MOLY oil additive was discovered in the shops of the US Army in post-war Germany. These shops sold a can under the brand name LIQUI MOLY that contained the liquefied form of the solid lubricant molybdenum sulfide (MoS2). When added to motor oil, this substance ensures emergency running characteristics in the event of a sudden loss of oil. Fighter pilots in World War One had already exploited this property, adding MoS2 to the motor oil in the aircraft engines. This enabled pilots to still land easily even if the oil tank was hit. The rights to the LIQUI MOLY name and the patent for the molybdenum sulfide substance (MoS2) was bought more or less exactly 50 years ago. He founded his company, LIQUI MOLY GmbH, on March 31, 1957, relocating it after one year in Ulm, a major city on the Danube, to Olgastraße. It was from here that the company’s original product – the first LIQUI MOLY oil additive for cars, known as “KFZ 1″ – was distributed. As an oil additive in a modern form, it is still an integral part in the product range today. In the first few years molybdenum lm2sulfide was the active ingredient in a wide range of industrial and automotive products. The very first product group was made up of KFZ 1, KFZ 2 KFZ 3 and KFZ 4 – oil additive, gear oil additive, multipurpose grease with MoS2 and assembly paste with MoS2. The MoS2 products, which play a key role in reducing wear, were complemented at the beginning of the 1970s by seat belts and child seats and, from 1973, by the first fuel additives. This product combination then accounted for the bulk of business until the end of the 1970s and brought LIQUI MOLY to where it is today – the market leader for additives. In keeping with tradition, the first few motor oils, which were produced in four viscosities, were given MoS2 wear protection even before they left the factory. The appearance of the brand name also changed during this period: “LM” became “LM LIQUI MOLY”, while the corporate colors of blue, white and red appeared for the first time. The first successful advertising campaigns were run. Spectacular and still remembered today, they included driving round Lake Constance in 2 VW Beetles run with only MoS2 oil additive instead of oil. It was magnificent proof of the efficiency and quality of LIQUI MOLY products and met with enormous response in the media. The brands and products were also advertised for the first time in motor sports. lm3The next successful chapter in the story opened with the company’s entry into the traditional motor oil business, also at the end of the 1970s. Today, LIQUI MOLY boasts one of the widest and deepest selections of motor oil. The product line incorporates fully synthetic high-tech oils with modern characteristics, partially synthetic low-friction oils and top-quality mineral oils of all grades, viscosities and in all price categories. The latest specifications and approvals from the automotive industry are of course also standard. The early seventies saw the beginning of collaboration with factory representatives in Germany. The first feelers were also put out abroad, with Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Austria and Switzerland were the first countries outside Germany to offer LIQUI MOLY additives for sale. Initial contacts were also made overseas, particularly with Chile and Argentina. A far-reaching decision was made in 1978 when LIQUI MOLY began to produce and bottle its own additives. As a result, the company moved its headquarters to the Lehr district of Ulm. Built from scratch, the production hall was supplemented in 1985 by a new warehouse and commissioning building. Over the years the LIQUI MOLY product line has continued to advance beyond additives and motor oils. The product offering is now rounded off by numerous service and maintenance products such as rapid cleaners, multi-purpose sprays, lubricants and pastes, etc. for both workshop and industrial applications. The latest products include a line of care products for paintwork and plastics on cars and a selection of motorcycle products. Full product lines for the service, care and maintenance of cars, motorcycles, boats, bicycles and garden equipment have made LIQUI MOLY an all-round supplier of chemicals offering everything needed for maintaining technical quality and visual appearance. These include a full selection of glazing adhesive products, spray-on seam sealants and anti-corrosion products. Of course, for each product area LIQUI MOLY also offers all the tooling, equipment and auxiliary materials required for use. Almost all products in the unparalleled range have been developed in LIQUI MOLY’s in-house laboratory by engineers working closely alongside the automotive industry. This unrivaled full selection of car chemicals is backed up by extensive marketing campaigns that ensure business success in all national and international channels of distribution. 1983 marked a critical juncture for the sales policy pursued on the German market. It saw LIQUI MOLY begin to supply supermarkets, DIY stores and home improvement retailers, giving it nationwide distribution coverage in all relevant sales channels. Motor accessories such as seat belts, child seats and snow chains were also marketed up to that time. Méguin, a Saarlouis-based firm, was taken over in early 1990. It is still a production site for all LIQUI MOLY motor and gear oils as well as various lubricants today. lm4A further decisive step was taken with the arrival of Ernst Prost, who joined as Sales and Marketing Director in 1990. As the competitive situation meant that collaboration with the exclusive factory representatives in Germany was proving to be a hindrance to the expansion of LIQUI MOLY’s distribution system, all exclusive contracts were terminated and the opportunity was taken to work together with new sales partners. This action was crowned with success within a very short space of time. Sales to specialist retailers grew rapidly, leading in particular to a reduction in the dangerous dependency on “large-volume stores” as customers of LIQUI MOLY. The trade mark also changed again, with “LM LIQUI MOLY” turning into “LIQUI MOLY”, at that time still with the blue/red border. Having been a sponsor on the sports car scene for many years, LIQUI MOLY returned to Formula 1 in 1989 as a partner of the AGS team. LIQUI MOLY’s breakthrough on the German motor oil market finally came in 1986 when it began to offer all customers a waste oil collection and disposal concept. This action enabled the LIQUI MOLY team to gain the confidence of many customers. The introduction of the oil container concept gave the company a further competitive edge. This is a system of reusable, exchangeable oil drums that are given to the customer against a one-off deposit. The concept also covers all the equipment that a workshop needs for the proper performance of oil changes. Since these items of equipment are given free of charge to all LIQUI MOLY’s workshop customers in return for a commitment to buy oil from LIQUI MOLY, the company has developed a customer loyalty program that guarantees wholesalers long-term orders by workshops. It also largely eliminates packaging waste in the form of empty containers and canisters. LIQUI MOLY is aware of its responsibility for the environment and plays an active role in that regard. The exclusive canister form that is still used for LIQUI MOLY motor oils today was first developed in 1987. This container has now become a key part of the brand image and enabled LIQUI MOLY to finally establish itself as a serious player on the market. While the company has held the number one position on the tough German additives market throughout the years, LIQUI MOLY motor oils have achieved a strong position almost level with the market leader. The break-up of the Soviet Union in the years 1995 through 1999 opened up new export prospects and with them a substantial breakthrough in export business. Although export activities were initially still dominated by Europe and America, the market began to undergo radical restructuring from the 1990s. Russia, the Ukraine, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Kazakhstan have since become successful counterweights. In 1998 the decision was to split LIQUI MOLY and Méguin into separate legal entities again. Ernst Prost bought 100% of the shares in LIQUI MOLY GmbH to become sole shareholder and general manager. All of LIQUI MOLY’s marketing activities have always been focused on the needs of its customers. All advertising and information materials that are needed to ensure brand identification and recognition among all market participants and customers are provided free of charge. A permanent brand presence at the point of sale, at trade fairs and in all relevant media also makes a major contribution. Spectacular sponsorship activities in Formula 1, WTCC and the German major soccer league ensure worldwide brand awareness. In 2005 Ernst Prost, the successful owner of LIQUI MOLY, employed more than 200 people. The products can be bought wherever high-quality car accessories are on sale: from specialist dealers, supermarkets, DIY stores, home improvement retailers, workshops and independent gas stations. Significant rises in sales have been achieved every year without exception. LIQUI MOLY’s future ambition, alongside consolidating its healthy market position in Germany, is above all to step up its export business. Permanent sales partners have been brought on board in many different countries over the years. These partners play an active role in ensuring that the LIQUI MOLY success story has many chapters still to go. Today LIQUI MOLY has a presence in almost 90 countries across the world, recording one third of its sales outside Germany. And this ratio is set to rise sharply over the next few years. More activities are necessary to reach this planned increase. To secure production capacities, Ernst Prost decided in June 2006 to buy all shares of the Méguin GmbH back and to take over the management. Today LIQUI MOLY and Méguin together are giving jobs to 500 employees.