John Deere’s acquisition of Precision Planting is sure to have short- and long-term ramifications on independent dealers carrying the product line.
Talking with the owners of few precision farming companies that have seen growth in Precision Planting sales in recent years, they offered a mixed reaction to the news. On one hand, dealers say having Deere behind Precision Planting could help raise the profile of the products and potentially create a new customer market.
“By Deere saying, ‘We see value in this product and company,’ it’ll have a huge impact on John Deere loyal customers and maybe open some doors for independent dealers to do some work with farmers who maybe we had been shut out with before,” says one precision ag dealer.
Another dealer suggests that while there may be new opportunities or service partnerships created by the acquisition, he expects to have to work harder for aftermarket sales.
“We’re going to have to be spot on with what we take to our customers because it’s going to be very easy for John Deere now to hook up some of what I call low hanging fruit, the basic sales, the basic meter sales, those type of things at the dealership level, especially with things like winter planter maintenance programs where they’re kind of tuned into that already,” he says. “It’s going to make it harder for us as an independent dealer.”
Early word is that Deere it’ll maintain the existing network of Precision Planting dealers, which is good news for those independent retailers. However, there is skepticism and concern as to how long that relationship will last.
One dealer suggested that in 3 years, he’d be surprised if there are any independent Precision Planting dealers.
“My fear is the cultures aren’t going to get along and they will dissolve it,” the dealer says. “But I certainly hope that isn’t the case.”
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