Scott Wine is no stranger to engines and equipment. While he holds a degree in economics, his post-Navy career has taken him on a ride ranging from handling Jake brakes for trucks to leading Polaris through a highly successful period. Today, he’s the chief executive officer of CNH Industrial NV, a position he took in January.
Recently, Farm Progress got a chance to talk with Wine about what’s ahead — going beyond current supply chain and pandemic news to explore CNH Industrial’s future. Read what Wine, the leader of the No. 2 farm equipment company serving the global market, has to say:
How do you view the CNH Industrial competitive position in North America? I’m not sure if people know how big New Holland is outside the U.S., versus their position in North America. I don’t think we’re small here, we’re just not nearly as big as we’d like to be or should be here. Our global brands are quite strong. That’s one of the things that drew me to the job is just the strength of the brands.
As I diagnose how we can be better, a lot of our problems are internally driven, the bureaucracy, the slowness and whatnot. And if you think about the fact that we’re still No. 2 in ag solidly, despite not putting what I would call our best foot forward, I think that speaks volumes for both the team and the products that we’re able to do that. And it gives me the confidence we can do much better if we get out of our own way.
How do you view brand differentiation between Case IH and New Holland? I think you can look at our two brands how you want to, or you can look at them how the market accepts them. And if you look about where we are, Case IH is a great cash crop brand. I mean if you spend a lot of time with farmers, they rave about how well we work in the field whether it’s in southern Mississippi or the Plains of Canada. Case IH makes great iron and really does serve that customer.
If you go to the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, where I’m from, or the smaller farms in Europe, you know New Holland makes great specialty machines. It’s a smaller-horsepower tractor. We’ve not differentiated the brands in that way, so we’ve kind of let them play all over the place, and it’s created a big of confusion in the marketplace. If we’re honest … that’s really where they play. We just haven’t really differentiated them as well as we could or should have in that manner.
So is the change or differentiation more evolutionary or revolutionary as you move forward? In my head it’s really about letting our brands serve their customer where they want to be served, and I think if we do that, it’ll naturally lead us to what I just described.
What do you bring to CNH Industrial as its new leader? I call it cycles of learning. I’ve come to value cycles of learning more. And I’ve just been in a lot of [different situations] — whether it’s my job overseas, the acquisition experiences I’ve had, or the 12-and-a-half years running Polaris — you get a lot of cycles of learning. And I think I can bring to bear the best practices of the things that I’ve learned to try to accelerate the improvement opportunities here.
You have to come into a job like this with a great deal of humility because there’s a whole lot about the industry that I don’t know that I’ve got to learn. But I think between the group teaching me and then me bringing a few things to teach them back, I think together we can do a lot of really good things, and I’m tremendously excited about it.
One of the areas I found interesting at Agritechnica in 2019 was a display where CNH Industrial was investing in startups in Europe, and there were some very interesting products. Is that going to continue? We absolutely will because it is narrow-minded to think that we can develop all of the best technologies in our own four walls. We need to keep our eyes and ears open out there and look for those opportunities. And we really need to be the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] of choice.
To be honest, we were the highest bidder for Raven, but they wanted us to be the buyer because they felt like we were the best [company] to own them and take them to a new level of performance. We need to be the OEM that gives [startups] the best opportunity to bring their technology or their products to market.
Raven was a big move in the market, how does that work into CNH Industrial? We’re Raven’s largest customer today, and we knew them well. Then when they [became available], we just really felt like we were the natural buyer, and we thought it could accelerate our technology deployment for farmers if we owned it. So, it was expensive, but honestly, the returns pencil out quite well.
Anything else you have your eye on? No I think the Sampierana deal for our Case Construction Equipment business will be very impactful for our excavator lineup. But no I don’t. Between integrating two acquisitions, reorganizing the company, spinning off a $13 billion truck business, I think we have plenty to do. And by the way, we’re working with a little bit of a supply chain challenge, and oh, the pandemic is there, too. Not really looking to bite off any more big acquisitions anytime soon.
Speaking of the spinoff, you’re splitting out the trucking busines. Can you share what that means for CNH Industrial and how it impacts Fiat Powertrain, your key engine supplier? The spinoff was made by my predecessor, and it was part of my interview process. I could have probably vetoed it if I had made a compelling case to keep it, but it requires large investments and delivers low returns, and I just as soon that’d be a separate company.
So FPT is going [with the spinoff]. We’re going to have a 10-year engine services agreement, and they’ll continue to be our powertrain providers as long as they’re competitive. And we think that will be a good deal.
What can farmers expect from CNH Industrial in the future? I think just continued innovation, better technology. We’re going to focus a lot on quality improvements and not just quality of the products themselves, but quality of the solutions they get and how quickly [farmers] get those solutions. I think they should expect a better-performing company, because that’s what I expect.