Big changes but CNH Industrial dealers confident customers are the big winners
05 Apr 2023
It's coming up for 12 months since CNH Industrial reclaimed the distribution of its Case IH and New Holland Agriculture machinery in the New Zealand market, and its New Zealand-owned dealers have ushered in some big changes that are creating more positive outcomes for customers across the country.
On July 1 2022, a distribution agreement with CB Norwood Distributors to wholesale Case IH and New Holland machinery ended, although Norwood's retail rights remained unchanged at that point. However, in January this year, CNH Industrial announced the establishment of a new retail footprint for New Zealand, with Norwood now having departed from the CNH Industrial dealer network.
For the remaining CNH Industrial dealers – many of them Case IH dealers with the exception of R&R Tractors in Te Puke - the departure of Norwood meant they immediately assumed responsibility for the New Holland brand in New Zealand in a caretaker capacity, with the dealerships rising to the challenge and swiftly and efficiently implementing the new arrangements to ensure customers continued to receive the service and support they needed.
For Andrew Giltrap, dealer principal of Giltrap Agrizone on the North Island, it's meant some dynamic changes and added responsibility and some reflection on the fact the business was a New Holland dealer at one time. But he knows the changes will have benefits across the board and ultimately strengthen the position of the Case IH and New Holland brands in the local market.
"It has been a time of enormous change, and that's been challenging at times, but my team have stepped up and are doing everything they can to meet the needs of our customers, both existing customers and former Norwood customers," said Andrew.
"And, we've had really good feedback from customers on the service we've been able to provide and the issues we've been able to resolve, which has been very pleasing.
"As an authorised dealer for New Holland machinery, we want to assure those customers that we're committed to the brand and we stand ready to support what they need, from the purchase of new machinery to the service and maintenance of existing machines in their business."
Andrew said they also wanted their Case IH customers to know it was 'business as usual' for them, and they could be assured the high level of service and support they had come to expect would continue.
Dealer principal of Cochranes, on the South Island, Chris West agrees it's been a big few months, but like Andrew, he can see the changes bring some big opportunities for dealers, and for CNH Industrial, as a whole.
"Since the changes in July, it's been great having more CNH Industrial staff on the ground and supporting the dealers, and customers. Moving forward now with both Case IH and New Holland brands, I expect that support will only become greater," Chris said.
"The customers have been positive about the changes, and are looking forward to receiving the service and assistance they need and expect. We have had a number of New Holland customers ordering new equipment in the past few weeks, so it's great to see that level of confidence already there. It's an incredibly exciting opportunity for us as a business, too, and we're looking forward to what's to come."
All dealers have good levels of stock available in their dealerships at present, and a new finance deal for customers is also fuelling additional interest and opportunities.
The Gear Up for Autumn Bonus program encompasses several initiatives for customers who buy a tractor before June 30 including an additional 12 months' warranty, bringing the total warranty coverage to a full three years; and interest rates starting at a low 0.9%.
"This is a great investment in the market by CNH Industrial and there's a lot for customers who are looking for additional tractors for their business, or wanting to upgrade an existing model," Andrew said.
"There have been some big changes in the past year, but they've all been designed to bring us closer to the market and to our customers and their businesses, and Case IH customers can rest assured that through this latest transition, their local dealership will only strengthen while continuing to provide them with everything they need to operate as efficiently and productively as possible" - Aaron Bett, General Manager Case IH Australia/New Zealand
Despite the local labour market being so tight at present, both dealers have taken the opportunity to recruit additional staff, particularly in the technical and service side of their businesses, and both will be looking to further expand their teams once CNH Industrial finalises the New Holland retailing arrangements over the coming months.
Bruce Healy, General Manager New Holland Agriculture Australia/New Zealand, praised the CNHI dealers who stepped up to take on the responsibility for New Holland machinery in New Zealand and thanked customers for their patience and understanding.
"Bringing both the distribution and retailing of New Holland machinery in house is a positive move and customers will be the biggest winners, although we appreciate there have been some challenges in the initial stages and customers have had to make some adjustments," he said.
"Ultimately though we will have a more cohesive and responsive network moving forward and customers will benefit from improved levels of service and support from their local New Holland dealer."
Since July of last year CNH Industrial introduced another major initiative, parts hubs at CNHI dealerships around the country. The brand and dealers have made big investments in additional infrastructure to accommodate an increased parts holding, the idea being to further decrease the potential downtime for customers in the event of a machinery breakdown.
"The Case IH hub been in place since August last year and that's been fantastic because it's meant we've had a lot of big, heavy parts that we may not usually stock, sitting here ready for harvest if required for combines and balers. A similar hub for New Holland will be ready for the next harvest," Chris said.
Andrew said for customers it means there's always more parts in stock, so there's a faster turnaround when there are issues. In addition to the hub, they have also made substantial additions to parts stock in all of their dealerships.
"We obviously can't have everything, but the amount of inventory that we have to pick on shelf as soon as there's an issue is much more now with substantial additional parts holdings. There's a more robust level of support for customers than 12 months ago because there's more parts on the shelves, so when there's a breakdown, there's a greater chance of turning it around straight away," he said.
Heath Joiner, CNH Industrial Head of Parts & Service – Agriculture ANZ, said the hubs were a key initiative that the company had worked hard with dealers to get up and running smoothly and efficiently.
"The dealers have made a significant commitment to this new strategy for parts supply and we're thrilled with the way it's working and the reaction from our customers. We'll obviously continue to refine the processes as we move forward based on ongoing feedback from dealers and customers," he said.
Aaron Bett, General Manager for Case IH Australia/New Zealand, said it had been gratifying to see Case IH dealers in the network respond to the need to support New Holland machinery and customers and he said there was no need for concern from existing Case IH customers.
"There have been some big changes in the past year, but they've all been designed to bring us closer to the market and to our customers and their businesses, and Case IH customers can rest assured that through this latest transition, their local dealership will only strengthen while continuing to provide them with everything they need to operate as efficiently and productively as possible."
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