A dealer recruitment campaign launched at LAMMA 2019 is already bearing fruit with the return of Suffolk Agri-Centre to the McCormick dealer network.
The dealership based at Pakenham east of Bury St Edmunds supplied McCormick products from 2007 to 2013 when it felt the range at the time lacked some of the models and features wanted by local customers.
“But that has changed completely,” says Suffolk Agri-Centre sales director David Eley. “The ‘Doncaster’ products have long since gone and McCormick manufacturer Argo Tractors has invested millions in a product development programme that has transformed the range.
“The McCormick line-up now has something for everyone – from the smallest compacts through no-nonsense livestock and smaller arable tractors to the high-performance X7 and X8 machines with CVT transmissions and all the precision farming technologies people want,” he points out.
“It’s a range that really suits our customer base and with new investment in an expanded management and support team for McCormick in the UK, I’m confident the product is also matched by the back-up we need and our customers expect.”
Reaction locally to the news of Suffolk Agri-Centre’s move back to McCormick has been entirely positive, he adds: “I’ve not had a single negative comment, we’ve had people coming in to look at the tractors, we’re quoting on a number of potential deals, and we’ve also secured our first retail – a McCormick X7 Series, bought by a long-standing customer of ours.
“We’re committed to continue supporting the tractors we supplied over recent years but as far as new sales are concerned, we’re now wholly McCormick.”
David Eley and fellow director Ken Grimwood believe that the long service of staff in the Suffolk Agri-Centre sales, parts and service departments – none has been with the company less than 12 years – and the more personal service they provide stands the dealership in good stead.
“Selling the product is just the start; on-going service and parts support provided in a friendly and efficient manner is what attracts and maintains our loyal customer base, whether it’s the big arable farms and estates or the large pig units and the family farms we have in our territory,” says David Eley.
Ben Agar, McCormick sales director, is spearheading the Argo Tractors ‘Free to Grow’ dealer recruitment drive and is delighted that Suffolk Agri-Centre has returned to the McCormick fold.
“Our campaign emphasises that as other major brands aim to tie down dealers to exclusively sell their implements as well as tractors, dealerships selling McCormick are free to supply whichever equipment brands best suit them and their customers.
“Argo is a tractor specialist, it’s our core business and the one that’s the focus of substantial investments in product development, manufacturing processes and assembly,” he points out.
“We’ve also put considerable investment into new digital resources for parts, sales, marketing and communications that will help our dealers grow with McCormick whilst supporting them to be free to grow with any of the many independent machinery manufacturers in our industry.”
David Eley agrees that dealer independence is a welcome factor: “We’ve done very well with Amazone for many years now and we’re also doing well with Krone, which we took on more recently, as well as with Teagle, McConnel and our other long-standing equipment franchises.
“With the addition of McCormick tractors, I believe we have a very rounded range of products to meet the needs of farmers and contractors throughout Suffolk, and the resources to support them in terms of parts and service back-up.”
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