OSAKA, Japan — Kubota will set up a $89.3 million logistics hub in Edgerton, Kan., to deliver repair parts for agricultural equipment as soon as the next day starting in 2019, according to an article in the Nikkei Asian Review.
Kubota has purchased an approximately 7,857,654 square feet (730,000-square-meter) plot with plans to build two warehouses spanning about 1 million square feet (100,000 square meters) each — the largest-ever such facilities for Kubota. The center will house 70,000 parts including exhaust filters, batteries and engine parts. It will also serve as a logistics center for construction equipment. Automation equipment will be brought in to ensure efficient shipment.
Speed is crucial because a delay in planting or applying agricultural chemicals could reduce harvests and erode farmers' incomes significantly. With many large-scale producers of wheat, corn and other crops concentrated in the Midwest, local companies deliver farm machine parts the same day in some cases. Kubota hopes the new logistics center will help it better compete with them.
The Osaka-based company has focused on upmarket riding lawn mowers and small farming equipment in North America. But following its expansion into the region's market for large farming equipment last year, Kubota aims to boost sales of such products and construction machinery. For the U.S., the company seeks to lift machinery sales by some 40% from 2016 levels to around $5 billion ($560 billion) yen in 2019.
Low grain prices have weighed on sales of agricultural equipment over the past several years. But now, farmers' investment appetite is coming back, said Yuichi Kitao, director and senior managing executive officer.