AGCO Corp. says it has officially announced details of the company's North American brand strategy for 2010 and beyond.

The company says this is a “major step in an aggressive business approach which focuses on bringing new products and improved services to professional growers and advancing AGCO's position as a leading player in the North American agricultural machinery marketplace.

"Our North American strategy is based on two simple ideas that will improve our overall competitiveness," says Robert Crain, senior vice president and general manager, North America, AGCO Corp. in a statement.

"First, by focusing our resources behind fewer brands we can bring more innovation and technology to our customers in key areas, resulting in market-leading products that meet the needs of today's farmers. In addition, fewer brands allow us to achieve greater brand impact and help our full-line dealers better support our valued customers. To this end, Challenger and Massey Ferguson will become our foundation brands within North America.

"Brands such as Hesston, Sunflower, Gleaner, White Planters, SpraCoupe, Fendt and others offer unique customer benefits within the marketplace and are not going away. These will be leveraged via co-branding strategies as appropriate. Hesston by Massey Ferguson is one example."

The company confirm that the plan does include phasing out the AGCO brand of equipment, including its line of orange tractors, which are expected to be marketed into 2011. “As AGCO has demonstrated throughout its history, the company will continue to provide quality parts and service support well into the future,” the company says.

Crain adds, "There have been questions in the marketplace about the future of the Gleaner brand, as it is so often linked to the orange tractors. AGCO is committed to the Gleaner brand moving forward. The innovative transverse technology in our silver combines sets us apart, and we anticipate market share growth in this segment. In fact, there are exciting new enhancements for Gleaner in the not-too-distant future."

Strengthening the Dealer Network

AGCO says it is expensive to support multiple brands and “a strong dealer network representing full-line brands” is a key component of the AGCO strategy to increase market share in North America.

"We are committed to serving our customers through a quality dealer network that will support existing and future products, help us provide innovative customer service and deliver the new technologies resulting from AGCO's expanded product development efforts," Crain says.

"We understand the heritage and tradition surrounding the AGCO tractor brand. To make certain we preserve our customers' access to exceptional product support, we will work with all AGCO tractor dealers on an individual basis to seek the best ongoing solution in their market. Options may include them continuing as a dealer for Massey Ferguson products. We are confident all our customers will continue to receive the level of support they've come to expect throughout the years."