2 January 1998

Distribution change might put UK Fendt dealerships at risk

By Andy Collings

JAN 1 saw AGCO take over the distribution of Fendt tractors in the UK from Bonhill Engineering, a move which follows AGCOs purchase of Fendt early last year.

It is also a development which, after nearly a year, does little to end speculation on the future marketing arrangements for the German built tractor range.

Existing Fendt dealers have been informed about the distribution change – current contracts will terminate on Mar 31 – but still await the announcement by AGCO of its plans.

Paul Bassett, managing director of Bonhill Engineering, believes some of the dealers could lose their franchises. "AGCO has a large number of outlets in the UK with its Massey Ferguson dealerships. It would seem likely that, where a Fendt dealer clashes in territory with an MF dealer, the Fendt dealer could be at risk."

It is a view echoed, to some extent by AGCO, which intends to review dealer arrangements this month. The unofficial line is that decisions will be taken on the track record of Fendt or MF dealerships and their geographical location. This will have a strong bearing on where the Fendt franchises will be offered.

AGCO has always been adamant that the Fendt brand should retain its independence and would insist that an MF dealership taking on a Fendt franchise should be able to service it with designated, trained staff and suitable spare part volumes.

In the meantime, Mr Bassett, says AGCO has agreed to provide full dealer support to Fendt dealers during the transition period. &#42

Fendt tractor distribution on the move. It could mean Fendt franchises being offered to MF dealers when existing contracts terminate on Mar 31.