It was big news when AGCO announced on October 13 that it would hold its Dealer Business Meeting at the AgConnect Expo, the new farm equipment exhibition organized by the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers, (AEM) January 13-15 in Orlando, Fla.

On November 5, the company announced that it would be canceling the meeting. In a November 12 statement to Ag Equipment Intelligence, Doug Griffin, AGCO’s vice president of marketing for North America, said, “As you are aware, many segments of the agriculture marketplace continue to be under downward economic pressure. Compact and utility tractors have been down significantly for many months, the dairy and livestock segments continue to suffer losses, and the cash crop segment is seeing downward pressure on commodity prices and experiencing a very difficult harvest.

“Due to all of this, many dealers are carefully managing their expectations for 2010 and carefully watching expenses. Therefore, AGCO has decided to cancel the annual dealer business meeting. Instead, we have decided to bring the management team to the dealers where possible.”

Griffin says that starting with a limited number of meetings in Western Canada and the Midwestern U.S. in December, and followed by additional meetings in spring 2010, the company expects to meet with many of its dealers on a regional basis.

Regarding AgConnect, Griffin says AGCO is optimistic about the new show and continues to invest in it. “We expect to have many key dealers participate in this event and bring their VIP customers to attend and experience the first-ever AgConnect show with us. In fact, we are offering some very attractive incentives for dealers and customers to make the trip to Orlando and see us at AgConnect. We just opened our dealer and customer registration and the initial response is even better than we expected. We believe AgConnect will be a big success for us and customers will like what they see.”