8 March 2002

McCormick meets targets

McCormick Tractors – a

name from the past but a

company for the future,

insists sales director Ray

Spinks. As the company

moves into its second year

Andy Collings assesses its

progress to date

WITH just 12 months trading under its belt, McCormicks sales director, Ray Spinks, reports that business is proceeding well, with targets achieved and a reasonably healthy bank balance to boot.

"But it has not been easy," he says. "We have had to pull out all the stops to get McCormick up and running. Key to it all has been the establishment of a dealer network both at home and abroad."

Even so, Mr Spinks is the first to concede that if the first year had not been successful McCormicks future would have been in question.

"Under the deal with CNH following the merger of New Holland and Case we had two years in which we could also manufacture the Case MX Maxxum, the CX and the MXC, the latter for sale outside the EU. We also have access to Case dealers," he says.

"This has provided us with a limited time in which to establish our own tractors, and a dealer network through which to market them. But two years in this business soon passes and at the end of this year we shall be on our own and production at the Doncaster plant will be purely McCormick."

On the dealer establishment front UK sales manager Ken Hamilton reports he has signed up 58 dealer branches – 90% of the required total. These include prestigious named groups such as Burgess, Rickerby, and George Sellar along with a number of Claas dealers where dual franchising with Valtra will exist.

"It is no secret we initially targeted Case dealers," says Mr Hamilton. "They knew the product and, in the main, had an established customer base, but we have also signed up dealers which had franchises for other brands."

Mr Hamilton believes that unrest in the dealer trade, caused to some extent by the Case/New Holland merger, may have been a reason why some Case dealers opted for the McCormick brand.

"A key part of their decision may also have been influenced by the fact we introduced the six-cylinder MTX tractor during the year – just as we told them we would," he says. "This was a tremendous achievement bearing in mind the limited amount of time we had been in this business."

While the home market may be well on the way to being sorted out, a tractor manufacturer needs to think globally if a future is to be maintained.

Concerted efforts last year saw dealers established in all EU and Scandinavian countries, plus Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Hungary, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and, more recently, the United States.

It is the US which Mr Spinks feels could ultimately have the most potential – if only through use of the McCormick name which, he says, is still fondly remembered by a large part of the farming fraternity.

All in all, we have got off to a good start," he insists. "But there is still an awful lot of work to be achieved if we are to become a serious global player with a useful market share. Expanding the dealer network remains a priority and we are also looking to introduce 200hp plus tractors within the next 12 months.

"But I am confident that McCormick will succeed. We have a good product range, a modern plant to build them in and, I believe, provision for an excellent dealer and customer support package." &#42

McCORMICKSPROGRESS

&#8226 McCormick formed Jan 1, 2001 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landini SpA.

&#8226 Jan 31 – first CX and MC tractors role off production line.

&#8226 Februarys SIMA show provides first public showing.

&#8226 September is the launch date for MC115 and the 118hp – 176hp six-cyl MTX range. Laverda combines and big square balers also join the product line up.

&#8226 Novembers Agritechnica event sees the introduction of Landini-built compact tractors to the McCormick line-up.