Fewer dealers but more business for John Deere
Despite relatively strong economic headwinds such as weak commodity prices, unfavourable exchange rates and political uncertainties, John Deere remains optimistic about the company's progress in its core businesses.
"With our ongoing efforts to provide our customers with advanced technology and innovative intelligent solutions, we are confident about addressing all the important market segments," says Helmut Korthöber, John Deere's Marketing Director for Europe.
"We are continuing to enhance our product range by relaunching smaller tractors and balers, by updating our professional lines of combines and sprayers and by adding a new 8R Series flagship to our large horsepower tractor range."
Many of these innovative products, says Korthöber, are the result of John Deere's commitment to research and development, reflected in expenditures of more than $1.4bn or 5.5pc of equipment net sales in 2015 (more than US$6m per working day).
According to Korthöber, John Deere was well advised to have completed the consolidation of its dealer network as part of the firm's controversial 'Dealer of Tomorrow' strategy in recent years, "a process that some of our key competitors still have to undergo," he warned.
Within the past 10 years, John Deere dealers around Europe have reduced in number but those remaining have in some instances more than doubled their businesses. The move was designed to bring about a large scaling up of average dealer size and spare parts capacities.
In Ireland the process was perhaps best demonstrated by Templetouhy Farm Machinery, which now haa six branches with parts in stock worth an estimated €3.4m.