John Deere pulls small owner franchises

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wnccutter, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. wnccutter

    wnccutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    ...or at least that is what I have been told.

    I know our John Deere dealership is closing it's doors as of today. This will require me and a number of my fellow operators a lot of time hauling our equipment to the larger dealerships.

    The franchisee told me that he received a letter stating that they were pulling the franchise even though business had been good. He also told me that several other dealerships were closing. In order to maintain a dealership John Deere wanted the franchisee to own multiple locations. Single dealerships were apparently inefficient.

    Has anyone experienced this with their Deere dealership? Everyone here is pretty upset about a farm community we really depended on this dealership for supplies, parts and service.

    If what the owner told me was true, then it was a heavy handed move by John Deere. I'm trying to stay cool about it until I can figure out what is really going on. If anyone has any info to share it would be appreciated.
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    This practice is widely known among outdoor power equipment dealers. J.D. wants only large dealer with several locations. Someone on a dealer forum refered to it as their 20/20 policy. Sell 20 million in equipment or have 20 dealership locations if you want to continue to be a J.D. delaer. This policy has been kept pretty quiet, but it is a fact.
    You are going to see MANY J.D.dealers CLOSE their doors in the next couple of years. I saw an estimate of the number of J.D. dealers that would be closed, and you would be shocked to hear the number.
  3. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    i do know they are closing a main office 35 miles east of me and going to bring it to our small town.then they will build a new huge place they said to work on all there stuff and they would have the GPS unit tracking here and stuff to do anything with JD.i got this info from my mother inlaw,there company is doing the survey and land work.JD people told them that some small ones would close but return with new buildings and bigger stuff.
  4. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    Somehow I doubt it, I'll swing by my dealer tomorrow if I have time to see if he heard anything. He owns a single dealership, but its huge.

    If it is true, and they shut him down, I will never buy another JD product. ever.

    But if its not, I will continue to use my current dealer because they are awsome and I like the JD equipment.
  5. wnccutter

    wnccutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    Wow...I did not know about the 20/20 aspect of it but the owner did mention the 20 dealership number. I hate to see JD do this. I know they have their reasons...but I also know it is making everyone in this community angry.
  6. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    It all comes down to John Deere wanting to sell a ton of equipment. Small dealers don't do much for Deere, they only sell a few mowers each year compared to the bigger companies.
  7. wnccutter

    wnccutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    Well, we are getting ready to expand and our garage is mainly JD and Exmark. I never thought about buying anything except JD until they pulled the rug out from underneath us here. I'm not sure what we will do now. JD has put us in a tough spot by doing this. To say the least, I don't have very good feelings about JD now. To bad really.
  8. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Unless you're dumping $100,000-$500,000 on harvesting equipment at one time or you are a national ORANGE themed retailer pulling thousands of little riding mowers from the factory at a time, I don't think JD really cares about you anymore as a customer. The lawncare stuff is just something they are stuck with now and can't absolve themselves of without leaving too much of a bad taste, so they're just putting up with you guys and treating you like mushrooms.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I'm not surprised.

    A family friend of mine owned a dealership and had the John Deere line for YEARS. He did a HUGE amount of sales out of his small operation... Yellow Deere, tractors, golf/sports mowers and a blue million front mowers and lawn tractors.

    Lucky for him he was never solely a Deere dealer only. A few years back he had his fill and dropped the Deere line like a hot potato. I was in shock. I could not blame him, but it was not something I expected he would ever give up considering.

    He went right through it and never missed a beat from it at all. In fact it was actually a very positive move for his business, which also surprised me. He has since sold major interest in that dealership and it's still doing well.

    Deere wasted no time filling the gap created by moving in a MAJOR Deere-Only player (chain dealership).

    I also have a friend that was a Deere tech... so between those two and what I have heard... nothing Deere might do would surprise me.
  10. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 38,238

    The dealer down the road from me was shut down last year, and another small dealer in my area was shut down. From what I hear, John Deere basically told the owners that they didn't care about the customers complaints and it was the dealer's responsibility, even though they were forced to shut down. I will never buy a J D product.

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