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  1. #1
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
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    Default Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    Our newspaper had an article about kubota and the dominance they have in the under 100 HP tractors. You have to register to view the article which I always find irritating.
    Sacramento Bee

  2. #2
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    kubota puts Lodi on tractor map
    Gaining clout, the Japanese firm sets up distribution center.
    By Jim Wasserman -- Bee Staff Writer
    Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, May 18, 2005


    Mirroring the increasing dominance of Japanese automakers in the U.S. economy, a top Japanese tractor maker's growth in the farm sector has brought new muscle to Lodi's industrial district.

    Kubota Tractor Co. recently moved its 11-state Western Division to a warehouse on 17 acres the company owns in the San Joaquin County city of 62,000. Kubota credited its expansion from rental space in Stockton to a growing command of the small-and midsize tractor market, which accounts for 90 percent of U.S. sales.

    The 180,000 square-foot distribution and assembly center near Highway 99 reflects ambitious plans by Japan's largest tractor maker to penetrate deeper into a U.S. market that increasingly associates its tractors with the same qualities as Japanese cars: fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and dependable engines.

    "I have three Kubotas and I had two previous ones," said Placerville-area vineyard owner Larry Walker. "I guess I've had Kubota tractors for 20 years, and I find they are very reliable."

    With their distinct orange and gray hues, Kubotas represent 25 percent to 50 percent of sales nationally in the under 100-horsepower category, the company says, mirroring the 25 percent share of the U.S. auto market by the big three Japanese automakers.

    "The small-tractor business has doubled in five years, and we continue to hold and grow our share of that," said Greg Embury, Kubota's vice president for U.S. sales and marketing. Minneapolis-based Farm Industry News Senior Editor Wayne Wenzel concurs, estimating Kubota's share of the small-to midsize-tractor market at 40 percent.

    Actual tractor sales by brand remain a closely guarded secret in the tractor industry.

    Kubota steers its growing North American presence from Torrance 36 years after introducing its first tractor in the United States. While its Japanese colleagues Honda, Toyota and Nissan build cars at U.S. plants, Kubota manufactures tractors in Georgia with 1,600 U.S. workers.

    "When we started up, we were the new kid on the block and had to find dealers," said Western Division Manager Rex Young, recalling Kubota's early history in the United States. Then, the unknown diesel import faced off with industry leader John Deere of Moline, Ill., and other stalwarts of American farming: International Harvester, Ford, Allis-Chalmers and Massey-Ferguson.

    Now, hundreds of Kubota tractors arrive by ship and truck in Lodi for distribution to 140 equipment dealers from California to Wyoming to Alaska. Tractors for vineyard work, row crops, strawberry fields and orchards stand outdoors with price tags up to $60,000. Inside, smaller tractors for weekend hobby farms fill steel ship cargo boxes awaiting assembly. Tractor tires, steel backhoe buckets, batteries and crates of 15W-40 engine oil reach toward the warehouse ceiling.

    Embury said Kubotas sell in much the same price range as competitors, from $2,900 for small-lawn tractors to $60,000 for large row-crop models. Popular 20-to 40-horsepower models sell from $14,000 to $30,000 for use on smaller farms and ranchettes, in construction and landscaping work, for excavation and in local government maintenance fleets. Midsize tractors geared to bigger farms range from $20,000 to $60,000, depending on accessories, such as two-wheel or four-wheel drive and air-conditioned cabs.

    Still, some competitors aren't impressed.

    At Colusa Tractor Co., a 1968-era John Deere dealer 85 miles north of Lodi, sales representative Alan Nannen said the Japanese haven't cracked its market of rice, tomato and tree crop farmers.

    "We still have a 93 percent market share for Colusa County," he said, citing John Deere quality "that has kept people loyal." Nannen, reflecting the hard-fought business of selling 228,000 tractors last year in the United States, called Kubota "an inferior tractor."

    But Farm Industry News' Wenzel said Deere and other global tractor giants have underestimated Kubota and misjudged a tractor market that saw large row crop farms shrinking and small hobby farms growing.

    Now, much as Japanese car makers leveraged small vehicle niches into footholds to sell larger vehicles, Kubota, too, has begun selling a larger 103-horsepower tractor for row crop farming.

    Environmentalists and dealers also credit Kubota for meeting government mandates for clean-burning engines.

    "Kubota met California emissions requirements three years before they had to," said Ron Adams, acting president of Sacramento for Tractors, a veteran Kubota dealer. "They were way ahead of the game on that."

    In Torrance, Embury acknowledged the frequent comparisons to Japanese cars.

    "Like the car business, we dwell on the growth and the quality. Are we doing to John Deere what Toyota did to Ford? I sure am working on it," he said.

    While those may be fighting words in Moline and Colusa, Wenzel warned Kubota to watch its back as it marks the grand opening Thursday of its Lodi facility. China's Jimma Co. is gaining ground with a small tractor priced below $10,000, he said. India's Mehindra and the Czech Republic's Zetor are also eyeing the U.S. market.

    Either could be "worthy competitors to Kubota if they can establish significant dealer networks in the U.S.," he said.



    Picture source: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Sacramento Bee/Sharon Okada

    Kubota Tractor
    A subsidiary of Kubota Corp. of Japan, the largest tractor manufacturer in Japan.

    WHAT THEY DO

    Specialize in making and selling tractors under 100 horsepower.

    HEADQUARTERS

    Osaka, Japan. U.S. headquarters in Torrance.

    MANUFACTURING PLANTS

    Japan, Gainesville, Ga.

    EMPLOYEES

    22,198 worldwide; 2,200 in U.S.

    FINANCIALS

    Parent company Kubota Corp. had 983.2 billion yen, or $9.2 billion, in sales for year ending March 31, up 5.7

    percent. Overseas sales of 345.3 billion yen, or $3.2 billion, were up 20.4 percent - mainly from growth in North American tractor sales.

    LATEST DEVELOPMENT

    Moved its Western division headquarters from Stockton to a new 180,000-square-foot office and warehouse at 1175 S. Guild Ave. in Lodi. Nearly 60 workers there assemble and distribute tractors and parts to 11 Western states.

    Source: Kubota Corp., Kubota Tractor Corp.


  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    "We still have a 93 percent market share for Colusa County," he said, citing John Deere quality "that has kept people loyal." Nannen, reflecting the hard-fought business of selling 228,000 tractors last year in the United States, called kubota "an inferior tractor."

    Oh boy, can you imagine the fighting words he's saying to people. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Elite Member SkyPup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    LOL, JD still has allot to learn..... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Thanks for the nice article, Rat.

  5. #5
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    I thought the article interesting, but the JD dealers comment aside, I don't think John Deere is thinking like him. I give JD much more credit then that. I hope they can continue to compete in all categories of the tractor market. There is no question that in the large equipment used in the massive tomato, rice and nut tree industry here in Northern California, JD is huge.

    PS, thanks Bob, I was not sure you could do that.

  6. #6
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    <font color="red">
    PS, thanks Bob, I was not sure you could do that. </font>


    I guess it is up to the moderators to say we can't. I hope I didn't do anything wrong. I posted it, unedited, with credit. But without all the photos/sidebars. I am under the impression that you have to provide the credit. The newspaper clearly allowed for non-commercial use of the article, allowed it to be emailed, printed, etc as per their website.


  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    The JD dealer's comments sort of remind me of how people reacted to Japanese automobile imports in the 70's

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    When we went to purchase our first tractor about 25 years ago, John Deere dealers wouldn't give us the time of day. Twenty-five years and four tractors later, we are up to a 68 hp tractor and are still buying kubota.

    Around here, John Deere never seemed interested in selling anything under 100 horses. Now, with the CUT and subCUT markets being fairly lucrative, other tractor manufacturers are trying to entice buyers to their brand.

    John Deere builds good tractors, but their dealer's attitude have cost them a lot of business with smaller tractor owners. We looked at John Deere's before we bought our M6800, but price and our relationship with the dealership kept us orange.

    I don't believe in blind loyalty to any manufacturer (they gotta earn it). I'm going to buy the best product at the best price with the best support. For me, its an orange tractor.

    For others it might be a Kioti, a Zeteor, or a Mahindra. John Deere needs to have some of their dealers check their attitudes at the door. It is hurting their ability to stay competitive in the under 100 hp market.

    It might not be a priority for them, but other manufacturers have made a name for themselves in smaller tractors. It also looks like they'll be branching out into the larger tractor market too.

  9. #9
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    <font color="blue"> I don't believe in blind loyalty to any manufacturer (they gotta earn it). </font>

    That's refreshing and what I consider the correct attitude.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Article in our local paper about Kubota.

    (QUOTE)


    John Deere builds good tractors, but their dealer's attitude have cost them a lot of business with smaller tractor owners. We looked at John Deere's before we bought our M6800, but price and our relationship with the dealership kept us orange.


    That sounds like the Harley Davidson dealers a few years back. Now that HD has met there demand they may be more friendly! )</font>

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