Nov 29, 2012 by Scott Garvey

There’ll be smiles at good cheer among execs at the Big Three this Christmas

As the calendar is about to flip over
to December, Christmas music is now playing everywhere and people are
starting to think about the upcoming holiday and year end. Along with
that comes the annual look back on the year that is quickly passing
into history. For executives at the major farm equipment
manufacturers, there’ll likely be smiles at the head office Christmas
parties as they down egg nog and talk about 2012 sales figures.

While countries all around the globe
face economies that are limping along caused in large part by
unemployment and low consumer demand for goods. Agriculture is one of
the few sectors that has soldiered on with barely bump on its
economic road, and the Big Three ag equipment manufacturers are among
those reaping the benefits of that.

In its third-quarter financial
statement released on October 31, AGCO claimed things in its
accounting department were looking pretty rosy. Overall sales for
that part of the year amounted to $2.3 billion. That’s a jump for
that company of 9.3 percent over the same period last year.

Sales here in North America have given
Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s CEO, and his crew particular reason to
celebrate. “Regional organic sales growth” here amounted to an
almost 21 percent gain over last year, according to their investors’
report. That may be due in large part to AGCO’s stepped-up marketing
efforts as it tries to increase its market share on this continent,
an historically weak spot for the company. The AGCO products that saw
the largest jump in sales here are sprayers, haying equipment and
high-horsepower tractors.

Over at John Deere, things are
reportedly good there, too. It just reached its fiscal year end and
has been tallying up the numbers. The final report, released a few
days ago in November, puts overall 2012 sales up an impressive 13
percent over last year to more than $36 billion. That is yet another
record-setting year for the company that has owned top spot in the ag
equipment market for a long time.

At CNH Global, the parent company of
Case IH and New Holland, the news is good as well. Sales of ag
equipment in its third quarter climbed 12 percent over the same time
period last year. Even with a decline in sales of its construction
equipment, the ag division has come to the rescue and given the
company an overall increase in sales revenue for the year so far.

Will all of this good news continue
into 2013? No one can say for sure, and projections range from
modest, continued growth to flat sales numbers. But even flat sales
figures don’t seem to be very bad news, especially considering the
numbers the Big Three posted this year.

Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey


Grainews' machinery editor Scott Garvey follows trends and innovation in equipment technology, takes a look at new farm machinery offerings, tracks their performance and goes into the workshop to find better ways to keep them up and running.


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