The new appointment has catapulted Sharmans to being one of the top three dealer groups selling the red brand in the UK, in terms of area and potential volume of business.
Sharmans already have five depots (Grantham, Melton, Stamford, Pytchley and Lowdham) and Mr Barclay says there are future plans to ‘plant a flag in the sand’ for the southern part of their Case IH territory in the Bedford, Huntingdon, Hitchin area and it is already looking for staff there. He adds that they are also looking at a second new depot that will be in the north, but this will be for its other key franchise JCB Agri and a range of implements it already sells.
“We aim to have a depot within 30 to 35 minutes for our customers to call in to, or for our fitters to go to them,” notes Mr Barclay. “We also farm ourselves, which helps us understand what farmers expect from us in terms of sales, service and parts”
Last December the apple cart was well and truly rocked after it was announced John Deere and Sharmans would be parting ways at the end of October 2020, after 30 years of working together.
With the Case IH appointment this separation could happen sooner but Mr Barclay points out there is still a lot to sort out and that they will be working with Deere for a mutually beneficial time.
“There is a great buzz of positivity with the Case IH team and they have been great to work with,” says Mr Barclay. “ Case IH have a great range of products with combines, balers and tractors from 50hp up to a 620hp Quadtrac, which will suit our customers.”
The Case IH and JCB Agricultural combination is one that is working well for several other dealers in the UK such as Paxtons, Truro Farm Machinery, Pecks, Cotswold Farm Machinery and Haynes.
Sharmans also has its own hire fleet, which Mr Barclay says will eventually be Case IH and JCB but for this year, it will be a mix of yellow, red and green, simply to have the right size tractor for their customers, as stock for all makes has been affected by interruptions in production due to Covid-19. He also adds that they have added second hand tractors to the hire fleet previously as they also have a business dealing with used machines.
This is not the first Deere to Case IH change in the UK. Lancashire based Cornthwaite Farm Machinery also changed brands in 2018. The question now is will we see some more dealer changes in the coming months. Case IH still has a couple of areas to fill such as a chunk of Oxfordshire and of course it will be interesting to see what franchise Collings Brothers picks up as it was a casualty of the Sharmans appointment.