Established in New York over 150 years ago in 1853, MOTUL had its roots in the whale-oil business, used for lanterns. Owned by the Rockefeller Group and operated as a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company, the company was later managed and run by Swan Finch and in 1919, came to known as the Swan Finch Company.

Having established its headquarters in the USA, the Swan Finch Company expanded its lubricant business and started exporting to Europe. In 1932, the Zaugg family, a French distributor bought out the Swan Finch Company, but kept the MOTUL brand name. The entire operation moved to France and the brand name MOTUL, was relaunched as a French brand.

Focused on improving the reliability and performance of lubricants, MOTUL dramatically altered the lubrication industry by producing several world's first and hence, set forth to shape the history of motor lubricants.

1953 - the launch of the World's 1st Multigrade Motor Oil.
1966 - the launch of the World's 1st Semi-Synthetic Motor Oil.
1971 - the launch of the World's 1st 100% Synthetic Motor Oil

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