The town of Birr, in Co. Offaly, is pretty close to being in the very centre of Ireland. A good choice then, according to Fendt, as a new base for the country's oldest-established farm machinery dealer to serve an expanding territory.
Atkins started business in 1878 in Cork city and the company is now run by the fifth generation of the family. Today, it lists McHale, Pottinger, Major, Bredal, Bogballe and Vaderstad among its machinery offerings - while depots in the towns of Fermoy and Bandon have been added along the way.
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Describing the recent developments at Birr, managing director Mark Wolfe said: "We took over occupancy of the new premises in September and have been busy modifying the building to make it 'dealership-ready.'
We chose Birr to be the main hub for Fendt as we already had staff working there and, of course, because of its central location.
"The branch will have six full-time employees, including Trevor Richardson as branch manager, all of whom have considerable experience of working with Fendt machines. The retail business here will be focused on Fendt and will offer the full portfolio."
On the service and after-sales support side, the Birr depot will look after the Irish midlands area for Fendt.
In the more immediate future, Atkins is inviting the farming community to either of its two forthcoming open days at Birr, on Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4.
In addition to the Atkins hospitality and a full line-up of tractors – including the high-horsepower 1050 – other attractions on display will feature a Katana forager and one of the latest combine harvesters.
A Katana 65 self-propelled forage harvester was put through its paces in Northern Ireland this summer. It was the first such Fendt-branded machine to be used on the island of Ireland.
While Fendt has been manufacturing harvesters for a number of years – some of which have been used in Britain since 2013 – no such harvester has made its way to Ireland until this year.