VIDEO: PFG; Howard become one

By: Carene Chong, Video by: John-Paul Beirouty

Presented by

Leading farm machinery distributor PFG Australia has raised its stakes in the farm implement market by consolidating iconic tillage equipment brand Howard within its cultivation division.

The formal acquisition took place ten years ago but it wasn’t until recent months that PFG officially added the Howard brand in an attempt to streamline processes and reduce costs for PFG, Howard and its comprehensive network of dealers.

As a result of  the consolidation, dealers will not only have access to Howard products but also brands currently sitting under PFG’s farm implement umbrella; namely Great Plains, Maschio Gaspardo, Jay-Lor and newcomer Aitchison from New Zealand.

Last week, PFG and Howard held a conference to brief dealers on the new venture and how it will benefit their businesses and customers.

PFG Australia managing director Geoff Maber says the consolidation will allow the multinational company to be known as more than just a tractor importer.

"It’s a very competitive market, we have to meet the market forces and (the consolidation) is going to make us a lot more efficient,"

"We’re really rationalising our range…we’re incorporating slashers, mowers, loaders, and cultivators. We want to specialise in that and we want to dominate the market, be a major player and put it all under one roof.

"So it’s exciting times."

Howard Australia general manager Bill Franklin says dealers and their customers will be the ultimate winners from the new venture.

"Our objective is to make sure we are able to deliver more value down the value chain and the closer association with PFG has enabled us to leverage some of the relationships which we’ve operated in isolation for a number of years," he says.

"Ultimately we’ll deliver more value and more choice for our customers-Australia’s primary producers."

Over 100 representatives from about 80 dealers attended the two-day conference to find out what the new partnership will bring to the table.

Nobby Byrne from Mackay farm machinery dealership Carlisle Tractors is optimistic about the consolidation.

"Howard is a very important franchise for us…most years we’ll gross over a million dollars’ worth of Howard whole good sales," he says.

"I can see streamlining in the processes, now that PFG has taken over. I’m pretty impressed with their operation down here."

"There will be a few changes such as freight and finance that in the past we haven’t had access to, and we should be able to pass those benefits on.

"We value the relationship we have now with PFG and we’re looking forward to better and brighter things in the future."

In addition to briefing dealers, PFG and Howard also used the conference as a platform for the launch of several new products including Howard’s AH4000 series Rotavator rotary hoe, Aitchison’s 4000 series Seedmatic drill and the soon-to-be-released Great Plains Yield Pro Planters.

Watch out for the detailed product videos online next week.

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