Based in Upper Quinton near Stratford-upon-Avon, LQG Agri is jointly owned by the Lockwood family, co-founders of Lower Quinton Garages, and former JCB sales manager Malcolm Davies, chose McCormick to expand its product portfolio for the area.
“We’ve been looking for a tractor range that would complement what we already sell and McCormick fits the bill perfectly,” says Mr Davies. “Tractors of 100hp to 150hp will be the key market segment for us and we have 130hp X6.440 and 140hp X7.440 demonstrators available to try out.”
“We’re very much a service focused business,” confirms Malcolm Davies. “Our service and repair technicians will soon be getting up to speed on the McCormick products and our stores staff are now adding Argo Parts service consumables and parts to their stock to cater for existing and new McCormick users.”
Mr Davies adds that short lines of communication with managers in the UK and headquarters in Italy was a reason for signing with McCormick manufacturer Argo Tractors.
Its a deal! Simeone Morra (left), Argo Tractors commercial director, seals the agreement with Ben Agar, McCormick sales director for the UK and Ireland, and LQG Agri managing director Malcolm Davies.
“Many of our customers are family businesses and Argo is a family-owned business, much like ourselves and the other manufacturers we represent, with a character that contrasts the ‘corporate culture’ evident at other big tractor companies,” he explains.
“For example, it was very special to have a senior member of the family that owns Argo Tractors, business director Simeone Morra, visit us to finalise our agreement. “It’s important to us to retain our independence and manage what we sell in the best interests of our business and our customers,” he adds.
“As a tractor specialist, Argo gives us complete freedom to sell Kuhn arable and grassland products, JCB Fastrac tractors and materials handling solutions, and all the other brands we represent without conflict.”
Being appointed to the sales, service and parts dealer network for McCormick tractors is the icing on the cake for business partners Nigel Gardiner and Jim Pearson of Venture Farm Machinery at Pytchley near Kettering – and they have local farmers to thank for the opportunity.
“We weren’t looking for a tractor franchise at this time in our company’s development,” says Mr Gardiner. “But the level of interest shown in the McCormick tractors we borrowed for our Krone grass machinery demonstration set off a lightbulb moment; we had a long discussion with the McCormick people the next day and everything came together.”
McCormick tractors are now available throughout Northants from the Venture Farm Machinery team – from left: business partners Jim Pearson and Nigel Gardiner, and parts sales manager Derek Lispcombe.
Nigel Gardiner and fellow director Jim Pearson formed Venture Farm Machinery three years ago after they were made redundant from a large agricultural equipment dealership when several branches were closed.
They recruited colleague Derek Lispcombe from the same group to draw on his long standing parts management experience and soon were appointed to handle sales and after-sales support for Amazone, Krone and Opico implements, along with Kidd and Tanco implements, and HM trailers.
Together with parts, tools and accessories from the Granit range and complementary suppliers, business soon took off.
“A number of people wonder how it’s possible to set-up a new dealership and acquire such leading franchises,” says Mr Gardiner. “But in each case we were in the right place at the right time with the right experience when the manufacturers needed local representation.”
The early signs are encouraging. “I’ve had more interest in the first week with the McCormick tractors than any tractors I’ve sold before,” he adds. “We just need to encourage potential customers to get behind the wheel to see for themselves how good they are.”