Promotions of "cash back" if you buy a pickup or a car are nothing new. Promotions of a specific amount of cash back if you buy a grain auger or elevator – now that is news. While some of it may have went on, most ag companies have not been in the business of offering creative marketing deals to move equipment, at least not recently.
That's because partly, perhaps, in the recent past they didn't need to be creative. Except for livestock farmers, many producers were making good margins and had money to spend. Now livestock farmers, the minority in Indiana by percentage, may have some money to spend, but budgets are tightening up for crop producers.
Signs like the one shown here offering cash back if you make a purchase by a certain date weren't that hard to spot at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville. Some offered low interest rates or no interest, also a tactic that car dealers have used to sell their products for many years.
Major companies are also announcing deals on certain products as well. It's all an effort to convince customers that even though this may not be the best year for prices and profit, there are still good deals and plenty of reasons to buy equipment if you need to do so.
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Word around many of the booths in the equipment areas of the show was that things were slow. That's not a surprise. And it didn't seem to limit the number of new products or new options companies are introducing. Several are still testing prototypes of new products, hoping to bring them out either this spring or later this year. Others are updating existing products and marketing upgraded models, especially in the electronics side of the industry.
If the economic downturn in crop farming is going to mean fewer innovations in machinery, the trend wasn't on display yet at the National Farm Machinery Show 2015.