A policy of enabling John Deere dealers to fill out their product lines with equipment from subsidiaries and alliance partners is continuing to be pursued by Deere with the acquisition of an Italian manufacturer of self-propelled sprayers and a newly formed alliance with the German manufacturer of agricultural material handling equipment. The world’s largest manufacturer of farm machinery has taken a special interest in Europe as of late.

Last year, Deere acquired majority ownership of U.S. high clearance sprayer maker Hagie Manufacturing and in 2015 announced an agreement to buy the precision planter manufacturing operations of Monosem in France and the U.S.

Italian Sprayers

As with these acquisitions, Italian sprayer manufacturer Mazzotti will maintain its name and insignia but benefit from the support and commitment of John Deere to enhance its business.

Deere already produces self-propelled sprayers for the European market at a facility in The Netherlands but the front engine, mid-cab layout is at odds with grower preferences in some countries where a forward-control cab layout as produced by Mazzotti and the majority of European manufacturers is preferred.

The Italian company makes lightweight sprayers of 1,500-3,000 liter capacity, a 3,200 liter ultra-high clearance model, and the new 3,200-6,600 liter MAF high capacity range. The chassis, cab and running gear of the MAF design is also supplied to Kverneland Group for its Vicon and Kverneland sprayer lines.

Other companies owned by John Deere but which retain their identity include Kemper, a German manufacturer of forage harvester headers; the Vapormatic parts company in the UK; and NavCom Technology in Torrance, Calif.

Deere acquired majority ownership of Hagie Manufacturing, located in Clarion, Iowa, in March last year.

John May, Deere & Co. president, Agricultural Solutions, said, “High-clearance spraying equipment is a new market for Deere. The expertise at Hagie allows John Deere to imme­diately serve customers who need precision solutions that extend their window for applying nutrients.”

Hagie CEO, Alan Hagie added, “We need a business model that helps us reach more customers. This partner­ship with Deere allows our solutions to reach customers on a global scale and ensure they are supported with the world class Deere dealer organization.”

German Handlers

In a similar vein, John Deere dealers in Europe have been declared the preferred dis­tribution channel for a range of agri­cultural materials handling solutions from German manufacturer Kramer.

The announcement came shortly after a key stage in the dissolution of a telescopic handler supply agreement between Kramer and Claas that allows Kramer to now promote and supply under its own name the machines supplied exclusively to Claas for the agricultural market since 2005.

The new agreement with Deere’s European arm involves direct-to-deal­er distribution, retains Kramer brand­ing and covers compact wheeled loaders as well as telehandlers. An investment in Kramer-Werke, which is part of the Wacker Neuson con­struction and agricultural materi­als handling group, will cement an agreement that both parties intend to become a long term alliance.

The scope of the agreement focus­es initially on Western Europe. There are plans to expand later to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other CIS coun­tries, as well as to North Africa and the Middle East.

Deere has no European products of its own to capitalize on the grow­ing demand for dedicated material handling products in agriculture but its dealers will now have access to 9 models of Kramer all-wheel steer loaders, 4 telescopic wheel loaders and 9 telescopic handlers.

Cem Peksaglam, CEO of Wacker Neuson SE, commented, “This collabo­ration will support our expansion plans and thanks to the additional business we will grow faster with Kramer, espe­cially in markets where John Deere holds strong market positions.”

In the U.S., Kramer loaders and han­dlers are supplied using the Wacker Neuson brand of its parent company, which in 2016 had revenues of €1.36 billion ($1.55 billion), down just 1% on record revenues earned in 2015.

Kramer will continue to supply Claas with Scorpion telehandlers until the end of 2017, after which Claas will introduce a new range developed with Liebherr, along with the German con­struction giant’s wheeled loaders for agricultural use.

— Ag Equipment Intelligence, July 2017