I’m not hearing much from dealers about poor sales levels these days, but I am hearing from dealers about sales they're losing because they can’t get equipment from their majors to sell. It seems that smaller tractors are at the heart of most of these discussions.
I heard from a dealer in the Southwest not too long ago with some scathing comments about his major supplier and how he’s unable to get smaller tractors at an affordable price and his competition is eating his lunch. And his biggest selling products are smaller tractors.
I’ve heard from a few New Holland dealers, each of them posed the same question: If you were to pick up one of the “other” small tractor lines available out there, which one would you go with? Each told the same story. They can’t get anywhere close to enough small tractors to meet customer demand.
More recently, another dealer shared, “I thought if prices would just get high enough, our sales problems would be over. We’ve lost three sales on mid-range tractors, two compacts, one mid-range loader and tractor combo and other tillage implements we cannot get. They’re just not available.”
He says that dealers like to kid each other, “What we have we can't sell. What we can sell, we cannot get. Back orders are abundant from our lawn and garden business to the biggest ag units in parts. Our margins are up, but we’re really concerned about the gross sales due to availability.”
It’s seems ironic that the majors demand “dealer purity” when they’re not supplying the products their dealers need to remain pure. Some things just don't change.