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  1. #11
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    658
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Tractor
    1986 Ford 1910 with 770B (FORD) loader, 4 MFWD; 1986 Bolens G214,back hoe,loader,MFWD (Iseki) 21 hp)

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?


    I remember hearing that diesel engines had to be big and purr along in their narrow torgue range. That small engines were gasoline and only big engines could be diesel. In fact, I can't even think of an American made line of quality made diesels under 70 hp. They are all kubota, Yanmar, Mitsubishi, Izusu and even Dahiatsu in all those skid loaders, reefers, sailboats, compressors etc. The GM fiasco of making diesel car engines out of gas engine in the 1970's was emblematic of the pitiful research and development that the American motor companies indulged in. ( I understand it was a qiuck and dirty way to raise mandated CAFE, Corp. Aggragate Fuel Effeciency.)

    Imagine if GM, Ford, Cummins etc had perfected these small diesel engines then. It was the Kubota diesel engine that gave Kubota the bankroll to develop the compact tractor, a perfect application for that size motor. Importantly, you could get them started and they were reliable. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] Those tractors made for small rice paddies were a short hop to the modern compact with that engine and a modern drive train and hydraulics.

    I think it is interesting that the array of implements that can be hung on a CUT has largely been exploited by the USA/Canada/European manufacturors, mostly small guys exploiting the niche. What I'd like to see is a case study by some Business Administration school on why US industry didn't see the oppornunity and /or dropped the ball in exploiting it. Maybe money spent on executive/ director salaries, perks, golden parachutes etc should have been plowed back into quality product development. Maybe the goal of quarterly dividends corrupts the long-term planning needed to thrive and survive. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    I think Kubota's vertical integration and cultural underpinnings allow them to control quality and this, along with several da*n good ideas ( the engineering,the product, the dealer network, the coddling of their reputation) , have put them at the front of the line - for now [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    RCH

  2. #12
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    3,044
    Location
    Windham County, Conn
    Tractor
    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    I asked my dealer whos is a long established kubota New Holland dealer, this very question about a year ago. He said it is because Kubota entered the market first and they have by far the best advertising. When asked about product reliability, he said the overall reliability of New Holland/Kubota were about equal with each of them having there problem machines.

    Andy

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    898
    Location
    SE Louisiana
    Tractor
    BX22

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    I don't have the answer to how Kubota got so popular - - other than to compare to the auto industry. How did Toyota, Honda, Suburu, etc. get to be so large. They sure didn't start that way here in the US. They earned their stripes by making reliable, affordable products.

    I do know if Kubota made pick up trucks, I'd sure buy one.

  4. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    6,137
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    kubota was one of the first companies here with the compacts. There engines are used across the power equipment industry in other brands of equipment and are noted for years and high houred life with little or no additional maintence required over normal. They build to a high level of quality and they have introduced more types of equipment in this area then any of the other manufacturers. Look at the factory TLB units like the B-20,L-35 and L-48 where now Deere has enetered the market after nearly 15 years of sucess. Look at the factory cabs on the L-series and now on the B-series tractors. They have never let the customers be guinea pigs and had to do major structure updates on there equipment after the introductions. It is rare to find a major built in flaw in design where additional pieces are needed to enjoy complete versatility of a tractor doing different tasks. To me as a dealer I feel that if all companies built to there quality standards we might not have a need for ISO ratings at factories. I don't feel that the other manufacturers build a bad product but it could just be that with Kubota being direct to the dealer might be a little faster to market of newer working designs meeting the market demand a little faster or totally making a market.

  5. #15
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    306
    Location
    Grayson County TX
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    I'll vote for hungry competitiveness over complacency any time. Kioto/Mahindra are doing now what kubota did those years ago.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member Volfandt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    1,879
    Location
    TN
    Tractor
    2004 Kubota BX23, 1966 WheelHorse 856

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    Greetings, don't know much about the historical dynamics of the oriental import domination of the USA CUT market but have some personal observations.

    One of the 1st things I noticed during a tour in Okinawa back during the 70's was how the Okinawans/Japanese used small air cooled diesels as opposed to small gasoline engines for job site air compressors, generators, water pumps etc. This made all kinds of sense to me as diesels excel in those environments although it seemed strange to hear these little diesels working away.
    And with everything being smaller & thinner to accomdate their smaller roads, their heavy equipment such as dump trucks, concrete mixers, delivery trucks etc., packed a big punch for being in such seemingly smaller/taller packages.
    Just like they showed us how our cars didn't need to be huge to transport us comfortably, they're continueing the trend with smaller tractors & utility trucks. The later being powered by small high performance diesels!

    Zoom to the now, I've decided to purchase a CUT before the close of the yr and in doing so decided to check out all the major players and the not so major players. After whittleing it down to JD & Kubota, I've decided to go with Kubota. I liked the MF( too high), Kioti (same price as the Kubota) and even looked at the Johnson (no HST), Branson & FarmPro (also as high as teh Kubota) but when I looked at the big picture, the choice of what brand that was going to get my hard earned $$'s boiled down to going with the tried & true and reputation.

    There just wasn't that big a presence of the other brands and I knew no one that owned them.

    When you have to choose between several products of equal value and quality, it's the intangables that can swing a deal, intangables such as condition of the product ( at 1 of the JD dealers I visited, his showroom tractors were filthy and they wanted list pricing for them not to mention he didn't have either model that I was interested in, another JD dealer quoted pricing that was alittle higher than the JD website published list price but at least he had them so I could test drive them and yet another thought I must have been wasteing his time as he left me to talk to another and didn't come back!). Of the 4 JD dealers I visited, neither acted like they wanted my business! Whats unusual was that when I went into this, JD was the one to beat!

    Not knocking the JD product at all as I like the 2210 & I especially liked the 4110 but after multiple visits to these dealers, I decided that they just didn't earn what I consider to be a large sum of $$$'s from me! On the average they wanted at a minimum of a $1000 more over the equivalent Kubota model, often times $2000 or more!

    So, to add my $0.02 to the topic, Kubota has succeeded because it produces a high quality product, for a good price thats lower than it's closest competiton, has very good resale value, has the dealer & service network to support it and most importantly, has an excellent reputation (word of mouth) by it's customers.

    Hope to close the deal before the end of the month.

    Volfandt

  7. #17
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    7,503

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    <font color="red"> I've decided to go with kubota. I liked the MF( too high), Kioti (same price as the Kubota) and even looked at the Johnson (no HST), Branson &amp; FarmPro (also as high as teh Kubota) but when I looked at the big picture, the choice of what brand that was going to get my hard earned $$'s boiled down to going with the tried &amp; true and reputation.
    </font>

    I think the above paragraph explains why a lot of people have picked Kubota, and that is one of the reasons why they have such a large market share. While pricing is generally regional, Kubota is very competitive in many markets. There are enough reports here on TBN to confirm that point.

    Another reason is simply because they were first and had the widest selection of small tractors, and that dates back to when none of the major companies really felt there was a need for small tractors. I don't believe Kubota invented the niche, I think they simply imported some small tractors and we figured out how to use them in ways that they had not been used before (such as for landscape uses on small properties).

  8. #18
    Elite Member
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    MessickFarmEqu's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    4,759
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    There is one big difference between Kioti/Mahindra and kubota that is not being mentioned. To my knowledge, the machines that these companies sell are the same all around the world. This is not, and has not been the case for Kubota. They have always built a machine tailored specificly to the market. There are many models of Kubota equipment that we never see here in the US (2WD BX's and rear shoot baggers). They have also gone out of their way to preserve their name and reputation, I don't think Kioti and Mahindra are doing a great job with this as they sell off their machines to Cub Cadet, that makes them seem like a cheap import knockoff brand not unlike Jima.

    My opinion on how they got to be the size they are is the same as how Toyota and Honda took the compact car market. By offering a product with noticably better egronomics with quality Japaneese engineering that offers more value for the dollar.

  9. #19
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2003
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    779
    Location
    Northern Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130 HST

    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    This is a bit off the topic, but still interesting... I read some years ago that the whole compact utility tractor market developed, both here and in Japan, because of the Japanese government's decision to help the industry by making it very tax-advantageous to Japanese farmers to replace their tractors every three years- which produced a lot of tractors, and 3 year old ones to get rid of- lots came to the NW here, and we're off and running.

  10. #20
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    Default Re: How did Kubota get such a large market share ?

    Neil, excellent point. Of all the companies, kubota sure seems most parallel to Toyota. The Toyotas we have here are often very different than those I see in other countries. Ditto the Kubota tractors.

    On thing that Kubota &amp; Kioti have in common is both are vertically integrated manufacturing companies (they make virtually all of their own stuff). Mahindra, like Deere &amp; New Holland, have some sectors where they make their own stuff, and some where they subcontract out to other manufacturers to have stuff made for them. Kioti, also is a contractor to other companies (like Cub Cadet's 8000 series).

    Deere &amp; New Holland, because of their ties to Yanmar &amp; Shibura(sp?), have constantly taken heat about not building their own stuff (eventhough they contracted proprietary designs that were not duplicated by the factories that make their stuff). Kubota has never had that criticism levied at them.

    Deere, New Holland and Kubota each make machines specifically for the North American market. I suspect that Mahindra has so many HST models available simply because our market demands HST units. Kioti is certainly behind the curve in the number of HST machines it offers compared to the big 3, however their CK series tractors seem designed for our market and offer HST the CK models.

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