All Gasoline, Not The Same

Kimatni Rawlins, founder of Automotive Rhythms Communications: “But I also tell them the most important upgrade to any vehicle is a high-quality gasoline because it can help you get the most out of your vehicle’s …�

(Kimatni Rawlins says—choose your gas carefully).

From the most stylish clothes to the most technologically advanced gadgetry, the African-American community seems to place a premium on fusion between style and performance, especially when it comes to their vehicles.

With so many choices, African Americans have plenty of automotive options to consider from the kinds of cars they drive to the upgrades they make as well as different gasolines to use.

Recently, Shell surveyed thousands of African-American and Hispanic vehicle owners from all over the country to gauge the most culturally significant automotive trends and fuel purchasing habits. African-American drivers agree that keeping their engines clean and running well is their top priority, with 68.1% of African-American youth between the ages of 18-24 and 78.3% of African-American adults identifying engine maintenance as being a priority.

In fact, survey results show African-American motorists say that a clean engine matters more than cosmetic upgrades. Yet, despite these findings, actual consumer practice does not reflect this verbal commitment to performance.

The same survey results show that more than half of African Americans surveyed admitted to choosing gasoline based on cost rather than quality. African-American youth lead adults in purchasing the least expensive gasoline available by 54.9% to 50.9%. These numbers reflect a continued consumer misconception of gasolines so Shell is reaching out to African Americans to explain that all gasolines are not the same.

“These survey results indicate there is a need for Shell to better communicate facts about fuel among African Americans of all ages,� said Karen Wildman, brand manager for Shell Oil Products US. “Shell is committed to providing consumers with information to help them make smart and informed decisions. We want people to know how purchasing a quality gasoline can help them get the most out of their investment in their car, which is typically the second largest purchase many people make in their lifetime.�

Most brands of gasoline on the market today contain only the minimum amount of cleaning agents required to meet federal government standards. However, that minimum is not enough to keep car engines free of carbon deposits on intake valves and fuel injectors. According to auto manufacturers, this buildup on critical engine parts can decrease the power and performance of cars and increase emissions.

Shell recommends that customers choose a quality gasoline with enhanced cleaning power that actively cleans as they drive.
Four top automakers – BMW, Honda, Toyota and General Motors – also agree that deposit buildup on critical parts of the engine can affect performance and have developed the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline standard, which raised the bar on fuel quality.

Shell Regular and Plus gasolines, which meet the “Top Tier� standard, also contain more than two times the amount of cleaning agents required by the EPA.  Shell V-Power, the #1 selling premium gasoline goes even further with more than five times the minimum amount of cleaning agents required by federal government standards and twice the cleaning agents required by the “Top Tier� standard. Shell V-Power is specifically formulated to actively clean your engine as you drive, giving it the ability to clean-up deposits that have already built up on intake valves and fuel injectors.

“As an auto enthusiast, I see the amount of time and money that owners spend on adding upgrades to boost their vehicle’s image and personal style,� said Kimatni Rawlins, founder of Automotive Rhythms Communications. “There are certain exterior upgrades that I recommend to really personalize their rides such as stylish rims, custom grilles, chrome exhausts, a little tint or small paint projects. But I also tell them the most important upgrade to any vehicle is a high-quality gasoline because it can help you get the most out of your vehicle’s routine performance. Quality gasolines like Shell help vehicles perform the way the manufacturer intended, which is just as important as how it looks.�

For almost 100 years, Shell has focused on researching and developing high-quality fuels that provide consumers with added benefits. The Shell Multicultural Trend Survey is part of a $30 million marketing campaign that Shell launched in June, 2006 to communicate that all gasolines are not the same. The campaign builds on the company’s commitment to provide high quality fuel to consumers by educating consumers that all Shell gasolines exceed federal government standards as well as meet the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline standard.

For additional information on Shell consumer education materials, including fuel and safety tips, please visit

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