Two months after announcing its sale to Kubota Tractor Corporation, Great Plains management told dealers it is business as usual at the Salina, KS, based tillage and seeding company. Dealers were addressed at the company’s 2016 national dealer meeting last week at the KCI Expo Center, Kansas City, Missouri, where six new products also were unveiled.
Linda Salem, Great Plains president, said under the purchase agreement, which was signed on July 1, the company will retain the same green paint and logo and will continue to market the same product line through its existing dealer network.
“Great Plains is still Great Plains, with the same values that were instilled in the company when it was founded and the same commitment to dealers and customers,” Salem said to dealers attending this year's dealer meeting.
Kubota and Great Plains have had a business relationship for the last 10 years through Great Plains’ Lands Pride division, which sells tractor attachments that are used with Kubota tractors.
“The Evolution of our partnership with Kubota and the Land Pride division is really the driver behind this change in ownership of the company,” Salem said.
Kubota Tractor Corp. is the American subsidiary of Kubota Corp, based in Osaka, Japan. The purchase agreement includes all five Great Plains divisions with multiple facilities in Kansas and a manufacturing plant in Sleaford, England.
Masato Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corporation, along with Todd Stucke, Kubota Tractor’s VP of sales, addressed the crowd and its vision for the company under the acquisition. Both told dealers that Great Plains will operate under the same policies and practices as it did prior to the acquisition.
“We intend to value and respect the relationship and also take steps to support and enhance it,” Yoshikawa says. “The sales team will continue to call on your dealerships and sell the same trusted products with the Great Plains branding and paint colors unchanged, and provide continuous product support to your customers. Kubota’s mission here is to provide support wherever we can.”
Company management was also addressed. Specifically, Yoshikawa talked about the role that Great Plains owner and founder Roy Applequist, will play now that the deal is complete. Applequist, who started Great Plains in 1976, will stay on for a while to help with the transition. Great Plain’s Salem will continue to serve as president.
“Therefore, I say to you today, “same game,” Yoshikawa says. “Great Plains will continue to be operated in the same manner you have come to know and trust, with the same leaders in place who have earned your confidence.”
More than 300 dealers attended the two-day meeting, which included business sessions and product walkarounds on the Expo floor.
Following the discussions, Mike Cleveland, VP of sales for Great Plains, announced the unveiling of six new products, ranging from tillage to seeding equipment, and gave an overview of each one.
Here are the highpoints of the products, which will be shown publically for the first time at farm shows this summer.