Bell and Deere remain firm partners
While South African Articulated Truck designer and manufacturer Bell Equipment and its American strategic alliance partner, John Deere have announced that they will no longer collaborate on the manufacture of Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs) in the Americas, the relationship between the two companies remains solid in all other regions and aspects.
Bell and John Deere have been strategic alliance partners since 1996 when Bell was signed on as John Deere’s construction and forestry dealer for Southern Africa. Later Deere acquired a stake in the South African manufacturing company. Underpinning the shareholders' agreement was a supply and distribution agreement that gave Deere the exclusive right to distribute and support Bell-designed ADTs in certain markets, including North and South America, under an exclusive distributor mandate. Deere’s launch earlier this year of its own range of Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs) and confirmation by Bell that it will continue with the design and manufacture of its own successful range of ADTs led to a re-visit of the various agreements between the companies. The new agreement also allows Bell access to the American markets. While John Deere remains a shareholder of Bell Equipment, the company's representatives on the Bell Board announced their resignations at the beginning of October, thus alleviating any potential conflict of interest.
Commenting on the new agreement Bell Chief Executive, Gary Bell says: “We thank our Deere Board members for their professionalism and contribution over the years and we look forward to starting this new chapter in our partnership.
"As partners Bell will continue with its role as Deere’s dealer of construction and forestry equipment in Southern Africa. Bell and Deere have a strong, long-standing partnership and our dealership has been particularly beneficial for both companies due to Deere’s quality product range backed by Bell’s extensive and professional customer support."
Meanwhile Bell believes the company is well positioned going forward. “Apart from our long standing partnership with John Deere we have also aligned with other leading manufacturers, including Bomag and Liebherr, to offer our customers a one-stop shop of quality products. “Currently we are gearing up for the release of our E series range of ADTs. The B30E and smaller truck models will be released in 2013 with the higher capacity trucks following in 2014. The B30E was previewed at Intermat showing significant technological advancements to deliver better customer value.”
He continued: “We are confident that our innovative, locally designed products and superior customer service can match customer expectations. As a South African manufacturer we are proud of our proven ability to design and manufacture products that compete in the global arena, supporting government’s mandate of job creation and growing the South African economy. Our strong heritage as an ADT specialist is driven by our passion for technical innovation and providing customers with the lowest cost per ton equipment solutions. This has seen Bell pioneer cutting edge technology.”
He added that the company is continuing to do leading Research and Development. “The design is what gives us our edge in an environment where customers are facing increased competition and rising fuel costs. New and upgraded products will ensure that we maintain our technological advantage in the market and give our customers the added benefits of higher productivity, greater durability and lower life-time operating costs. By owning the intellectual property we are able to ensure the best solutions are provided to customers.” He adds: "As a company we are excited to be to return to the American ADT markets because ADTs are the backbone of our business and a product we specialise in. North America is the largest ADT market in the world and South America holds great potential. Access to the American markets is, therefore, key to our global growth plans."