MINNEAPOLIS – General Transmissions, a manufacturer of transmissions for lawn tractors, lawn mowers and snow blowers, hopes to continue growing its share of the North American market with the launch of its first U.S.-based parts, service and sales center in Houston.
The Houston area facility, located at 27351 Spectrum Way, Oak Ridge North, will provide parts and technical support to an independent network of lawn care equipment dealers that General Transmissions plans to have in place by the first quarter of 2016. The network will consist of dealers and repair facilities certified by General Transmissions as having the knowledge and technical skills to handle aftermarket parts and service needs for its Element V line of belt-and-pulley driven, continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) that it supplies to manufacturers of riding lawn mowers, walk-behind mowers and snow blowers.
“Adding the service component now is critical to assure continuing customer satisfaction,” says Wouter Barendrecht, president of France-based General Transmissions. “At the same time, our Houston office will serve to move us closer to our customers – the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the outdoor power equipment (OPE) industry – and thus help us better anticipate their needs for transmission technology.”
The company has seen rapid growth in demand for its CVT automatic drives over the last several years, especially in the lawn tractor segment of the OPE industry. Overall, the company has a 40% share of the total market for lawn mower, lawn tractor and snow blower transmissions, including walk-behind self-propelled lawn mowers and snow blowers.
The CVT automatic market has grown exponentially in recent years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of General Transmissions-equipped lawn tractors rolling across the lawns of America. That surge in growth in installed product also resulted in an uptick in demand for service parts from dealers and riding mower owners alike.
The Houston parts center expands the company’s capacity for fulfilling orders for parts and service. “We want to ensure our customers – the OEMs – that we can respond quickly and efficiently with parts and technical support as needed whenever they have an issue with one of our transmissions,” says Barendrecht. General Transmissions engineers its CVTs to be both maintenance-free and defect-free in normal use, he says. “That said, when a problem does arise, we want people to know that we have the parts and technical support in place to help them get their machine back up and running, quickly and cost effectively,” he says.
“Simplicity of design is a key component of General Transmissions’ CVT technology – and as such, they lend themselves well to aftermarket servicing by qualified service technicians,” says Barendrecht.
General Transmissions made a series of service videos for the Element V RS 800 and RT 400 CVTs and posted them online at http://generaltransmissions.com/en/service-parts/. The web site also includes downloadable copies, in English and Spanish language versions, of the factory-authorized repair manual for the RT 400 transmission, along with service information for other drive components that the company produces for the outdoor power equipment industry.
About General Transmissions
General Transmissions is a family business founded in 1991. The company designs and produces drive solutions that make outdoor power equipment more profitable for OEMs, and more appealing and productive for users. GT is now present on every continent where lawn mowers are made. The company headquarters and R&D center is in Les Herbiers, France: a 130,000 square-foot facility that includes highly automated state-of-the-art machine and injection-molding shops. The company also operates an advanced manufacturing plant in Matamoros, Mexico (with a sales office in Brownsville, Texas), allowing one-day shipping to most North American customers. A production facility in Suzhou, China adds to its ability to deliver on time, on-cost products. More information is available online at http://generaltransmissions.com/en/.