The AGCO brand name is going away. In a move designed to improve its global competitiveness, multi-brand equipment maker AGCO Corporation announced plans to phase out the AGCO brand name over the next couple of years and focus its marketing on comparable Massey-Ferguson and Challenger branded products. Gleaner also will remain an important brand. The announcement was made in a letter to dealers issued by Robert Crain, AGCO senior vice president and general manager for North America. In the letter, Crain states:

“It has been in our strategic plans to increase market share in North America. To accomplish our goal, we believe it is important that we approach our customers with strong dealers representing strong full line brands. We believe this will require us to realign some of our traditional brands through cobranding,
such as what we have done with Hesston by Massey Ferguson. It will also require reducing the number of brands we offer in North America by phasing out certain brands.”

Under the new plan, the AGCO brand of equipment will be phased out, including orange tractors. ACGO branded tractors will be produced through 2010 with retail sales continuing through 2011. An aggressive customer retention campaign will be launched, targeting current owners with incentives and messaging to address their concerns (such as resale, dealer, product support, etc.), reward past loyalty, and motivate consideration and purchase of Massey Ferguson equipment.

Crain and his team plan to meet with AGCO dealers to further discuss the branding strategy.

While the number of core brands will be reduced to two, brands including Gleaner, Sunflower, Hesston, White Planter, SpraCoupe, Fendt and others will not go away but will be leveraged via co-branding strategies.