Buying Advice Why isn't Yanmar a bigger deal?

   #1  

Tractorable

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We all have our brand loyalties but I'm curious as to why Yanmar isn't a bigger deal?

The Japanese company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012, invented the first commercially viable small Diesel engine for farmers in 1933, has been building tractors for many decades, builds engines and tractors for other manufacturers, including John Deere, and is a big player in the marine and construction industries.

Yanmar diesels are some of the best in the world, their tractors are top quality, they build the whole tractor from the wheels up, and they put their own name on it.

Here's an interesting read, 100 years of Yanmar: https://www.yanmar.com/media/global/2016/history/100years_of_yanmar.pdf

Why isn't Yanmar a bigger deal?
 
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   #2  

saray

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shopping
I think lack of dealerships is one of the big issues. I live just West of Tallahassee and the closest dealership to my house is Jacksonville or Lake City. And even knows one's a hardware store the tells them no one has service Department. And even with all that right now my choices are down to Kubota or yanmar
 
   #3  

airbiscuit

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For many years they made the CUTs for John Deere and were captive to that. There was a half hearted attempt to partner with Cub Cadet, but that didn't last long. Now they are establishing their own beachhead under the flag of the Mother Ship. It takes time to establish dealerships and trust - they already have an excellent reputation. Given that, their slow start doesn't bother me. I look at them as being where Kubota was in the 1980s. I think they will reasonably quickly start to grow.

Kubota and Yanmar were kind of the first CUTs in the 1970s. It would have been interesting to see what the CUT landscape would look like today if they had stayed in the US Market as their own brand right from the get go.
 
   #4  

MESSMAKER

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I think they have a shot. They do not have a very extensive line though.
 
   #5  

PossumHound

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Back when I was young enough to work like h**l all day, I had a JD 650 made by Yanmar that was my true work partner. That little tractor drug logs, bush hogged, mowed yards, pulled a box scraper working on the yard and our roads, and many other chores. That little tractor was bullet proof. I owned it 15 years and only needed a dealer once for a voltage regular. Of course these days you could order that online and have it tomorrow so its not as necessary to have a local dealer.

Worked that tractor 15 years about 1500 hours later sold it for the same price I bought it, and the buyer jumped on my asking price in about 2 seconds.

PH
 
   #6  

AxleHub

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Tractorable,

Part of the reason for Yanmar tractors is far different than than the other examples. Their goal was always to be an OEM for others - much as Iseki is for Massey and others. It is much cheaper to develop as an OEM than to brand your own because you can develop your skills and make money at the same time - where as branding your own is very expensive and a whole different talent pool while developing your manufacturing skills and technology.

If you go back to 2006 when I first started looking at scuts - Yanmar had desired to have a national product of its own but marketed by a national distributor/manufacturer for the U.S. market. Their product was sold by Cub Cadet thru Cub Cadet dealers to give Yanmar nationwide exposure (as we all know). What many don't know - is that the product (2400 with or without backhoe) was in many many ways a superior product to the Kubota BX at the time. Kubota had already been in the tractor business (scuts particularly) since 1999. But Yanmar's "bee" (called that because of its Cub Cadet colors) - used a superior hydraulic system, had position control, dual pumps, a stronger fel, and an incredibly rugged engine and cooling method (for engine and hydro system) and a very easy to maintain system.

Cub Cadet desperately wanted to handle the product because it gave their dealers a big advantage in selling to another market that other lawn mower brands didn't have. But the problem was a scut sells differently than a gas riding lawn mower because of price and technology uses. Many dealers simply did not know how to do it because of their experience and client base. Dealers who understood the purposes and had the diesel skills - sold lots of them - but that isn't nearly the same as having a nationwide network. I knew dealers who sold every unit they could get their hands on right up to 2015 even though they were discontinued at Cub Cadet by 2012 and then came out as Yanmar at Yanmar dealers in early 2013. Yanmar also had a number of other tractors that came out in 2011 at Yanmar dealers - all of them were known for easy maintenance (dealers loved service work on them). But remember - Yanmar was creating their own dealer channel in 2012 and 2013. In 2015 Yanmar came out with the new models in red.

But the problem for Yanmar is they still have the OEM channel for many things too - so they couldn't afford to start a nationwide dealer program in 2011 etc. everywhere.

As an example We have no Kioti dealers within 150 miles of our populated area - and we have very few Mahindra dealers either. We have a few good Yanmar dealers in that same range.

Limitations for Yanmar have always been - they didn't have enough accessories or models to choose from - but what they had was excellent. What really has helped Yanmar is John Deere got very cocky and tried to force dealers to double their risk (or more) and expand their inventory in lawn and light tractors in the 2013/2014/2015 time frame. They falsely believed no one would turn their demands down - and they were wrong - and as a result some dealers that had been John Dealer dealers for 30 years suddenly weren't "green" - and they went yellow/black and then red too.

Give them time - and Yanmar will continue to expand just as Kubota did from 1999 to 2007 in models and dealers. I don't know that Yanmar tractors in the U.S. will get as big as Kubota - but they don't need to to be successful. I continue to believe that Yanmar, Iseki, and Kubota all make not just engines but entire units of the highest quality and all three are growing in one way or another and are very financially healthy.

And
 
   #7  

Rustyiron

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Tractorable,

What many don't know - is that the product (2400 with or without backhoe) was in many many ways a superior product to the Kubota BX at the time. Kubota had already been in the tractor business (scuts particularly) since 1999. But Yanmar's "bee" (called that because of its Cub Cadet colors) - used a superior hydraulic system, had position control, dual pumps, a stronger fel, and an incredibly rugged engine and cooling method (for engine and hydro system) and a very easy to maintain system.

Back in the "red" Yanmar tractor day's I was comparing a JD 1050(Yanmar made) with the Yanmar 336DT, my neighbor sold them. It had sleeved cylinders, better hyd & std features and a great transmission called iirc "powershift". 4 ranges in the trans with 3 speeds & reverse (all clutchless) in each of the 4 trans. gears. Either JD didn't want those items or Yanmar didn't offer it to them, I bought the Yanmar and wish I still had it.
 
   #8  

dodge man

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How long did it take Kubota to become established in the smaller tractor market? 10 years? Maybe a little longer. I agree I think Yanmar makes good stuff but they need to get a dealer network going and get the name recognition.
 
   #9  

TnAndy

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How long did it take Kubota to become established in the smaller tractor market? 10 years? Maybe a little longer. I agree I think Yanmar makes good stuff but they need to get a dealer network going and get the name recognition.

Yep.....that right there. My local NH/Case dealer (in business for 75 years) was a Yanmar dealer for a couple years (during which I bought mine), but now they aren't. My guess is Yanmar doesn't do what it takes to get, and keep, dealers.

Same problem when I bought my 220D back in 1984....dealer dropped them a year or so later.

Without a good dealer network, they will always be behind the 8 ball in sales/popularity.
 

Oldoak

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For me, it was a toss up between Yanmar and Kubota when I purchase a new tractor this year. Having owned a trouble free Kubota for the last 21 years, Kubota won.

I believe the I-HMT (integrated hydraulic mechanical transmission) in Yanmar's new YT3 Series tractors is the BEST there is and all the other specifications look good as well. However, I would have no use for a lot new electronic features on the tractor, which I am sure adds to the initial cost and just more to possibly go wrong. Also, I really think the front end design is ugly, although that alone wouldn't have stopped me from choosing a Yanmar.
 
 
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