Houston-based Mahindra USA, the number one selling tractor brand in the world, announced today that Cleo Franklin has been appointed as the company’s new Vice President – Marketing and Strategic Planning. Franklin took his new post on August 1 and will report directly to Mahindra USA President, Mani Iyer. In addition to Marketing and Strategic Planning, Franklin will also oversee the Product Development function of the company.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Cleo to the Mahindra family,” said Iyer. “Not only does he have leadership experience running his own company and a wealth of knowledge from his years in the farm equipment industry on which to draw, but he has also proven to be an aggressive and strategic marketer. We expect his addition to our team to pay instant dividends and to be integral to the long-term growth of Mahindra USA.”

Franklin has more than two decades of experience in the sales and marketing arena and most recently served as President of Franklin Strategic Solutions, a consulting firm that supported several companies’ strategic planning and sales executions. His extensive experience in the agricultural industry includes New Holland Agriculture, where he served as Senior Director, Sales & Operations. Previously, Franklin spent 21 years at John Deere in the various roles, including Strategic Marketing Manager - Government and National Accounts, Strategy Manager – Large Property Owner Segment, and Group Brand Marketing Manager for Consumer Products and Utility Tractors.

“Mahindra has experienced impressive growth in the farm equipment industry, both globally and nationally, and the company has shown a commitment to extending its leadership with the introduction of exciting new products, exponential expansion of the dealer network, and the creation of Mahindra Financial,” added Franklin. “I am proud to join the leadership team at Mahindra and look forward to working with our passionate workforce, committed network of dealers, and the most loyal base of customers in the industry to continue to build the Mahindra brand.”

The recipient of an Executive MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Franklin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Morningside College.

Mahindra USA, Inc. enjoys an extraordinarily high level of customer satisfaction due to an unequalled commitment to quality.  A recent study found that 98% of Mahindra owners were likely to recommend Mahindra to their friends and family.

Tractor owners are not the only people touting the quality of Mahindra products. In 2007, M&M’s Farm Equipment Sector became the only tractor manufacturing company in the world to receive the coveted Japan Quality Medal for excellence in Total Quality Management, awarded by the Deming Prize Committee care of the Union of Japanese Scientists.