28 August 1998

Claas dealers given the go-ahead to sell Valmet tractors

By Ian Marshall

CLAAS is to recommend to its dealers that they sell Valmet tractors – news which should be welcomed by Claas dealers.

They now have access to one of the few remaining independent specialist tractor manufacturers having significant production, and one with which there is no potential conflict of interest.

"Claas UK has reached a non-binding agreement with Valtra that, where it makes dealer changes or an existing dealer does not hold a tractor franchise, it will recommend Valmet," explains Clive Last, Claas UK chief executive.

"Any further negotiation is then between the dealer and Valtra, the tractors will not be distributed through Claas UK."

But dealers will have the opportunity to bring a degree of uniformity of colour to the forecourt, by having their tractors fitted with green side panels.

Historically Claas dealers have sold Ford, Deere, Massey Ferguson and Case, until denied the marques through companies going long line and moving into the harvester market.

But Mr Last emphasised the arrangement does not herald a Claas move into the mainstream wheeled tractor market. "Claas has no ambition to buy into Valtra and is categorically not entering this sector, nor will it go into a branding operation," he insists. &#42