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I am a first time poster, so please forgive my ignorance. I have been told that private label oil such as "NAPA" and "Parts Master" brands are made by Valvoline. The salesman says they are equal or superior to the name brand product. He says, they sell for less because they do not include the cost of a large advertising budget.

I am somewhat skeptical and would appreciate any advise I can receive on this. Thank you in advance.
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If you go to napaonline.com and search motor oil, you will get some (not all--poor website?) NAPA oils to come up. Click up a basic NAPA oil and then click on it's MSDS. Last time I did it a Valvoline All Climate MSDS came up. That's not to say they are the same. A MSDS is pretty broad and could cover several differing oils. Before SM oils came out you could look at Valvoline Synpower having the CF rating, but NAPA synthetic did not. THis was pointed out to me by a Valvoline tech line person who told me that the NAPA oils were NOT the same as Valvoline. Valvoline does bottle them and if you want info on NAPA oil you call Valvoline tech line (1-800-TEAM-VAL). Also the fact that Synpower's 50 weight is a 20w50 and NAPA's is a 15w50. Someone at the oil guy site (a knowledgable fellow) said the Synpower has a PAO component (apparently not present in the NAPA?).
Rebranding is a common thing in Europe, there are quiet a few companies who relabel/rebrand their products for different kind of markets. Sometimes because of the image the brandname gives the consumer, sometimes it's even a product from a competitor.
The Castrol product for VAG 506.01 is such a product. The additive package for 506.01 was protected in the beginning (not anymore exclusive).
Lots of smaller companies buy this product in order to have something for long interval (WIV) VAG models. In this case it's cheaper to rebrand than to make (make/buy decisions...)

Third possibility is when a company buys the formulation of the product and produces the oil themselves. This can be a explanation for the slight differences in specifications on the MSDS.
Being blended by Valvoline is certainly not the same as BEING valvoline - and in any case even Valvoline have a range of the same specced lubricants at variably prices (hmmm... wonder why that is...?)
You could also be recieving a lower quality base oil - a modified additive treat rate or a cheaper additive package.
Valvoline does the same here in Australia - and I can guarantee you it's not good gear.
This directed to Canucks...

I've been told this by our Provincial Esso rep.

Most people think that the "Red Death" Canadian tire oil is junk oil...
...couldn't be farther from the truth.

Canadian tire oil in the red jug is Esso Protec, without bleaching additive. Esso not only bottles the oil for Can tire, but also makes the bottles for them.
Additive companies, such as Lubrizol, Ethyl,, Infinium and Oronite, develop licensed formulas that they offer to oil companies to re-license. It is inexpensive to re-license one of these formulas, and the majority of oil companies choose to do this to avoid the costs associated with testing. This, however, tends to commoditize the market. The same chemistry is being sold under many brand names. Most of the major oil companies do have their own proprietary formulas developed, tested and licensed.

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