The Equipment Dealers Assn. (EDA) has released the results of its annual Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey. The survey, which enables equipment dealers throughout North America to rate the manufacturer lines they carry in key operational categories, was open from Feb. 4 through March 4, 2021.

EDA’s survey allows dealers to rate up to 7 manufacturers they carry and collects data on their experience in 12 categories including product quality, availability and technical support; parts availability, quality and return policy; communication, warranty, marketing/advertising support and a separate rating for overall satisfaction. Respondents could rate manufacturers on a scale from 1-7, where 1 is “extremely dissatisfied” and 7 is “extremely satisfied.”

The 2021 survey contains a list of 61 manufacturers that received the minimum number of dealer ratings required to be included in the report, including full-line manufacturers, tractor manufacturers, shortline manufacturers and outdoor power equipment (OPE) manufacturers.

Broken down by occupation, 64% of respondents were dealer-principals, 15% were general managers, 7% were branch/store managers, 9% were sales managers, 3% were parts managers and 2% were service managers.

Dealer’s Choice Awards

Full-Line: Claas

Tractor Mfr.: Branson Tractors

Shortline: Bourgault

OPE: Wright Mfg.

It is important to note that the survey results were only representative of a snapshot of dealers’ thoughts in early 2021, with the potential for results to “change relatively quickly due to a number of external factors or situations.”

Claas Beats Deere as Top Full-Line Manufacturer

Claas took the lead in the full-line category with a total average score of 5.45 vs. being ranked second at 5.23 in the 2020 report. This surpasses both the average full-line manufacturer score of 4.90 and the total manufacturer average of 5.31. Claas ranked the highest in 6 of the 12 categories dealers were asked about (vs. 3 in the 2020 study), including product availability, product quality and overall satisfaction. Among the remaining 6 categories, Case IH led in “manufacturer response to dealers concerns” and “communications with management,” while Deere took the lead in “warranty procedures,” “warranty payments” and “marketing & advertising support.”

John Deere took second in the full-line manufacturer category with a total score of 5.19, down from the top score of 5.50 in the 2020 report. AGCO and Case IH tied for third at 5.00 each, whereas AGCO took third (5.10) and Case IH took fourth (4.29) in 2020. Kubota saw a year-over-year decline in score, from 4.57 in 2020 to 4.31. New Holland, however, rose from the bottom-ranked full-line manufacturer in the 2020 study at 4.00 to 4.44 in the 2021 study, surpassing Kubota.

The average mean score for full-line manufacturers in the 2021 report was 4.90, up from 4.78 in the 2020 report and in line with the 4.90 recorded in the 2019 report. The average overall satisfaction score for full-line manufacturers also rose to 5.14 in 2021 vs. 4.99 in 2020 but fell below the average overall satisfaction for all manufacturers at 5.54. 

Branson Maintains Spot as Top-Rated Tractor Manufacturer

In the tractor manufacturer category, Branson took the lead with an overall score of 5.79, down slightly from 5.80 in the 2020 report. Branson had the highest score in 10 of the 12 categories dealers were asked about vs. 6 in the 2020 report. This excludes Yanmar scoring 6.40 in product quality and Versatile scoring 5.40 in communications with management.

Shortline Manufacturers 2021 Results

  • Bourgault had the highest average mean score at 6.13
  • Bourgault also had the highest overall dealer satisfaction rating at 6.35
  • The average shortline mean score was 5.39, down from 5.40 last year
  • Full coverage of the Shortline Manufacturer performance will be featured in the September 2021 issue of Farm Equipment

OPE Manufacturers 2021 Results

  • Wright Mfg. took the highest average mean score at 6.12
  • Wright Mfg. also took the highest overall dealer satisfaction rating at 6.42
  • The average OPE manufacturer mean score was 5.52, down from 5.54 last year
  • Full coverage of the OPE Manufacturer perfomance will be featured on

Yanmar was the second-highest rated tractor manufacturer with an overall score of 5.19 vs. taking second in 2020 with an overall score of 5.67. LS Tractor followed in third with an overall score of 5.11, down from taking third in 2020 with a score of 5.61. McCormick and Mahindra were the lowest ranked tractor manufacturers in the 2021 report, with scores of 4.27 and 3.45, respectively. This was in line with their lowest ranks in the previous year’s report, where McCormick had a total score of 4.04 and Mahindra had a score of 3.94.

With nearly 90 pages of data and charts, the 2021 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report is available to all EDA dealer members and to participating manufacturers. Manufacturers may also obtain data that includes company breakouts by region and their individual dealers’ comments. For more information, contact Joe Dykes at

The average tractor manufacturer overall score in the 2021 report came in at 4.74, below an average score of 4.89 in 2020 and 4.90 in 2019. The average tractor manufacturer’s overall satisfaction score was 5.04 vs. 5.10 in 2020, also below the average overall satisfaction score for all manufacturers of 5.54.