Following the shock announcement in December last year by John Deere dealership Sharmans that it was being axed from the manufacturer’s roster, the East Midlands area is to be divided by existing dealers Farol and Ben Burgess.
Sharmans’ five depots are to stop selling the green and yellow liveried machinery by October 31, 2020, with new depots set to open during the year in the area.
The Sharmans situation is the result of John Deere’s ‘Dealer of Tomorrow strategy’, which set out a plan to create a ‘network of world class dealerships’, initially announced at a product launch in Lisbon in June 2011.
However, the axed dealer said it first learned of the strategy at an Agritechnica meeting last November, when all 350 European dealer groups were told there would be a reduction of about a third.
This the dealer said was the first time they were also made aware all dealerships would have to double their current tractor area (which varies by dealer), meet a €100 million (£84.8m) turnover target and sell 30 combines and 15 foragers every year.
Filling in the area Sharmans is vacating with John Deere sales, Ben Burgess is planning to open a new outlet in central Rutland to cover that county and surrounding areas. With its headquarters in Norwich and an additional five outlets in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, Ben Burgess has held the John Deere franchise for over 55 years. It opened its newest outlet on the A14 at Ellington in Cambridgeshire in May 2019.
In addition, Farol is looking to establish a new outlet in Newark, focusing on servicing customers in the surrounding parts of Nottinghamshire, west Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. Based at its head office in Milton Common, Oxfordshire, Farol has five more outlets in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Berkshire and West Sussex. It initially took on the John Deere agricultural machinery franchise in 2004, covering central and southern England.
Both businesses are now actively recruiting staff and acquiring new state of the art premises to facilitate the expansion.
Joedy Ibbotson, John Deere division sales manager says; “In the interim period before their new premises are officially opened, both dealers are well positioned to cover the new marketing areas from their existing outlets.”