Carlo Lambro, the Italian brand president for New Holland, has been making it known that the company is intent on revamping and revitalising its North American dealership structure.
Speaking at the Farm Progress Show held in Iowa recently, he indicated that New Holland was going to toughen its stance on dealers that stocked products from other manufacturers which competed with its own machinery lines.
His comments were uncompromising in their intent and will have put many New Holland dealers on alert, not just in America, but worldwide as company policy tends to apply, eventually, to the whole distribution network.
He did not dwell on specifics, no other companies or particular product categories were mentioned, yet he admitted that “we will not eliminate all (competing brands) because some OEMs will resist”.
For Lambro, it is not just a question of the dealers shuffling their brands around to appease New Holland, it is a question of cementing the partnership between dealer and manufacturer.
He stressed that dealers will need “to decide if they want to be really on board to be true blue dealers, trusting the brand or not”.
“If they trust the brand, I think that the brand can provide all the support, product, service, machinery, financing, whatever they need,” he said.
This gives every indication that New Holland is intent on closing the gap that exists between themselves and the dealers.
Naturally, they will want a return on the support provided which will doubtless encroach upon a dealer’s independence.
New Holland plans expansion
In Ireland, there are many smaller dealers who are unwilling to take on a big brand franchise as they fear this very loss in independence, and the news of other manufacturers withdrawing franchises overnight will not help settle the nerves.
With regards to the North American market, he noted that the company should “rationalise” its network, saying that New Holland will also be looking to expand its dealer presence in North America with Texas and Florida being two states where he feels that the company needs to be better represented.
Over the past year, the number of dealers globally has remained static at 1,779, yet the number of points of sale has decreased by 502 to 3,529, indicating that that certain degree of rationalisation is already underway.