October 4, 2021
Eric Hansotia took the reins of leadership of Agco on Jan. 1, becoming chairman, president and CEO, during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Raised in Wisconsin, he immediately set out to help the company chart a course for the future.
Only a few months later, he sat down with Farm Progress and explained his vision for the company and his take on the industry and current challenges. Here is a closer look.
Related: Agco's new leader takes reins
Where did Agco come from? Where is the company headed? We are a young company, only 31 years old. Chapter 1 of our history was our founder’s time. He started at zero and assembled a full portfolio. Martin Richenhagen led us through Chapter 2 before retiring. He made an operating company out of what was essentially a holding company.
For example, eight years ago ,we had eight electrical platforms. That’s been standardized. Now we’re in Chapter 3, and we’ve done a strategy refresh, looking at our products and geography and our fit. Where are we now? How can we improve? Why do we exist? We’ve developed a purpose statement reflecting that we’re a farmer-focused company developing focused solutions so farmers can feed our world.
What is your vision for the company? We want to be a trusted partner to farmers by developing smart solutions for agriculture. While we meet the challenges of today, our engineers and team members are also working on smart machines for the future. The fully autonomous one-row Xaver planter, which we unveiled earlier in Europe and are showing in the U.S. now, is an example. It’s not ready for the market, but it’s an example of technology which may be a solution for the future.
Currently, there are glitches in the supply chain related to COVID-19. How does a company like Agco deal with this issue? It’s a big challenge. Let’s look at changes in our parts strategy as an example. A third party has rated Agco No. 1 now for four years in a row for parts availability to the farmer. Yet, it’s something we’re still improving on, especially now. Our team used digital and artificial intelligence platforms to determine what parts are needed most often for each machine in various geographies. We’re using this information to supply our dealers with a recommended list of which parts to stock. We work through our dealers to keep farmers operating in the field.
Where do you see Agco going in the future? We talk about three engines for growth. First, we’re aligning our brands to deliver a different customer experience, depending upon what he or she wants, putting the farmer first. Fendt is our flagship brand for those farmers wanting the best equipment and options available.
We are expanding our number of Fendt dealers, but we are very careful — they must meet certain criteria and qualify. Currently, we have 74 Fendt dealers with 288 locations in North America. Massey-Ferguson remains our brand which supplies quality equipment and yet is the right economic choice for many farmers.
Our second engine for growth is developing smart machines, which we mentioned earlier. The third engine revolves around customer connectivity. It revolves around delivering the right digital customer experience to each farmer.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Current Conditions for
Enter a zip code to see the weather conditions for a different location.
Pros and cons of H-2A guest farmworkersNov 30, 2023
Market expectations: What's on the horizon for grain and livestock?Nov 22, 2023
18 gifts for the farmer on your listNov 27, 2023
South American rains slash soybean pricesJan 18, 2023
The markets are telling the 2023 storyDec 01, 2023
AgriLife's first, 21st-century co-center to be builtDec 01, 2023
USDA exports – China buys soybeans, December 1, 2023Jan 19, 2023