From the Dec. 16 broadcast of Farm Equipment's "On the Record:"
Members of the Far West Equipment Dealers Assn. recently voted against merging with the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. With about 70% of FWEDA members voting, 67 opposed the merger while 26 voted in favor of it.
In March, the joint boards of directors for FWEDA and WEDA voted to move ahead with the proposed merger. The merger would have filled some regional gaps in WEDA’s demographics.
We spoke with FWEDA Chairman Craig Kleindl, director of pricing at RDO, to learn more about the vote. He says dealer members felt the decision was rushed and some of their concerns weren’t addressed.
“Overall there were a variety of reasons. Some of the main themes were around the financial stability of FWEDA today … when you look at the assets of FWEDA we’re not financially struggling,” Kleindl says. “And then you look at specific states, and we’re spread out so far, the reasons really varied because of that. If you look at California specifically or Arizona, some of the regulatory, environmental concerns came up. I think a lot of members felt that was rushed and there could have been better communication throughout the process. Ultimately, I think many members were surprised or not really ready for the discussion.”
Kleindl says mergers among the dealer associations are somewhat inevitable and there is still a possibility for FWEDA to merge with another association in the future.
WEDA was formed by the merger of the SouthWestern and the Canada West Equipment Dealers Associations in 2014. Back in September, the members of the Pacific Northwest Hardware & Implement Assn. voted to merge with WEDA, further extending the associations reach.