Valvoline Inc. is an American manufacturer and distributor of Valvoline-brand automotive oil, additives, and lubricants. It also owns the Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Valvoline Express Care chains of car repair centers. As of 2016, it is the second largest oil change service provider in the United States with 10% market share and 1,050 locations.[4][5]

Valvoline Inc.
Traded asNYSEVVV
IndustryChemical manufacturing and distribution, car repair
FoundedSeptember 6, 1866; 154 years ago (1866-09-06) in Binghamton, New York
United States
Key people
  • Sam Mitchell (CEO)[2]
  • Mary Meixelsperger (CFO)
ProductsMotor oil, additives, lubricants
Number of employees


Number 17 Sprint Cup Series car sporting Valvoline colors

Dr. John Ellis, the inventor of a petroleum lubricant for steam engines, founded Valvoline on September 6, 1866, in Binghamton, New York, as the Continuous Oil Refining Company. In 1868, Ellis renamed his Binghamton Cylinder Oil to the more memorable Valvoline. The next year, he moved the Continuous Oil Refining Company to Brooklyn. With his son and son-in-law, Ellis renamed the company to Ellis & Leonard and relocated to Shadyside, New Jersey. By the 1890s, Valvoline oil was associated with winning race cars.[6] During the early 20th century, Valvoline was the recommended motor oil for the Ford Model T.[4]

In 1949, Ashland Inc. purchased the Freedom-Valvoline Company.[7] By 2016, Ashland's Valvoline subsidiary accounted for about 37% of the parent company's annual revenue.[4] Valvoline completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on September 22, 2016,[8] ahead of Ashland spinning off Valvoline as an independent company on May 5, 2017.[1]


Valvoline has sponsored a number of auto races to market its motor oil, including the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Valvoline has also sponsored NASCAR racecars driven by Mark Martin, Al Unser Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., RahMoc Enterprises, and Ginn Racing.[2]

In Australia, Valvoline owns naming rights to the Sydney Speedway and sponsors the Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix. It also sponsored the 1994 Australian Manufacturers' Championship.

Valvoline was also the official lubricant supplier for Marussia F1 Team in 2014 (later Manor Marussia F1 Team in 2015), but the team didn't show the Valvoline logo branding on Marussia F1 cars despite utilizing Ferrari engines.

Since June 2020, Valvoline sponsors Spanish Soccer Team Sevilla FC as a global partner, with their logo appearing on the sleeves of match kits.


  1. ^ a b Caproni, Erin (May 15, 2017). "Ashland, Valvoline complete split". Cincinnati Business Courier. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Baniak, Susan (June 22, 2017). "Lexington-based Valvoline Separates from Ashland Inc., Moves into New Headquarters". Business Lexington. Smiley Pete Publishing. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Willoughby, Jack (March 12, 2016). "Valvoline Spinoff: A 45% Gain for Ashland Holders". Barron's. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  5. ^ "Motor oil maker Valvoline maps IPO spinoff from Ashland". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. September 13, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  6. ^ Smith, Gerald (November 19, 2014). "Valvoline was born in Binghamton". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Gannett Company. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Thompson, Eric V. "A Brief History Of Major Oil Companies In The Gulf Region". University of Virginia.
  8. ^ Beckerman, Josh (September 22, 2016). "Valvoline IPO Prices at $22 a Share". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved November 9, 2019.

External linksEdit