In 2012, Deere & Company marks the 175th anniversary of its existence, which began when company founder John Deere successfully manufactured and marketed the self-scouring plough in 1837.
“John Deere revolutionised agriculture and he made farming in the tough soil of the US Midwest a productive and profitable venture,” said Samuel R Allen, chairman and chief executive officer of Deere & Company. “Our recognition of this special anniversary reminds us of the many thousands of John Deere employees who came before us to make this company a world leader.”
John Deere had moved from his home in Vermont to start a small blacksmith shop in Grand Detour, Illinois. He later moved the business to Moline, Illinois, where the world headquarters is still located. The company was incorporated as Deere & Company in 1868. From the one-man shop at its inception, John Deere currently has more than 60,000 employees worldwide.
John Deere is the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural and forestry equipment as well as a leader in construction and turf care equipment. Additionally, Deere manufactures engines and powertrains for its own equipment and that of other OEMs, provides credit and other financial services to those who purchase equipment, and is a world leader in precision irrigation.
“John Deere instilled four core values in his company,” Allen said. “Today John Deere employees still deliver on the important values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation and we believe these values have been the key to the longevity of our enterprise.”
Growth in Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near & Middle East
In 1956, the company expanded its presence around the world, building a small tractor assembly plant in Mexico and buying a majority interest in the German tractor and harvester manufacturer Heinrich Lanz, including production facilities in Germany and Spain.
Further expansion of sales and distribution channels into key markets of the European Community (EC) and investments into new manufacturing locations occurred in the 1960s with the formation of sales branches in Spain (1964), the United Kingdom and Ireland (1966), France, Germany, Italy (all in 1967) and Sweden (1968).
Established in 1967, John Deere International (formerly known as John Deere Export) addressed the needs of customers in the remaining markets of the EC, Africa and the Middle East. Today, many of these national dealers/distributors continue to maintain their own dealer network and provide full sales, product support and financial services.
Following a decade of massive industry consolidation in Europe in the 1980s, John Deere expanded its agricultural and turf equipment product range by the acquisition of SABO (1991), Kemper (1997) and a sprayer manufacturer (1997) in the Netherlands.
From the mid-1990s, the appointment of national dealers in Central and Eastern European countries and the formation of a sales branch in Poland marked John Deere’s expansion further east. In the past decade, the company’s commitment to Central European markets and the CIS took shape with the establishment of the John Deere Russia branch, the Orenburg seeding equipment factory and John Deere Domodedovo.
Here, the company assembles high horsepower tractors, combines and construction & forestry equipment and operates its Eurasian Parts Distribution Centre. A marketing office in the Ukraine and the establishment of a strong dealer network complement John Deere’s growth plans in the CIS.
In addition to these growth initiatives, John Deere continues to invest in its existing manufacturing sites, sales branches and product support infrastructure, as well as new product solutions.
Well positioned for the future
Company shares are listed on the stock exchanges of Chicago and New York. Deere & Company holds 98th place in the 2011 Fortune 500 list and traditionally ranks among America’s ‘most admired companies to work for’.
With an assessed brand value of US $3.6 billion, John Deere was listed among Interbrand’s ‘best 100 global brands’ for the first time in 2011.
“Looking at the fundamentals of our businesses, John Deere has good reason to look optimistically into the future,” says Christoph Wigger, vice-president sales & marketing for Region 2 (Europe, the CIS, Northern Africa and the Near & Middle East). “Increasing prosperity, purchasing power and quality awareness work in favour of John Deere turf equipment sales in our region. And the company’s line-up of innovative products as well as our dealers’ product support infrastructure make John Deere a No. 1 choice for homeowners, commercial mowing customers, greenkeepers and groundsmen.”
In late 2010, Deere & Company announced its goal to reach worldwide net sales of US $50 billion by 2018, which includes the growth of all businesses, ie the Agriculture & Turf Division, the Construction & Forestry Division, the Deere Power Systems Division and John Deere Financial.
Deere & Company www.deere.com