John Deere and Hitachi end manufacturing, marketing agreements

By Riley SimpsonAugust 20, 2021

John Deere and Hitachi, which displayed their excavators together at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March 2020, have ended their joint venture manufacturing and marketing agreements

John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery have decided to end their joint venture manufacturing and marketing agreements, the companies announced this week.

The manufacturers will enter new license and supply agreements, which will allow John Deere to continue to source, manufacture and distribute the current lineup of Deere-branded excavators in North and South America.

The new agreements will be effective Feb. 28, 2022 – pending regulatory approval – according to the companies.

Since the 1960s, both manufacturers have shared a supply relationship, which has developed considerably over the decades: In 1988, the companies started the John Deere-Hitachi manufacturing joint venture to produce excavators in Kernersville, N.C.; 10 years later in 1998, the companies included the production of forestry swing machines at Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products in Langley, British Columbia; in 2001, they combined their marketing and distribution efforts in North and South America; and a decade ago in 2011, John Deere and Hitachi also added excavator manufacturing in Indaiatuba, Brazil.

Recently, John Deere and Hitachi displayed excavators together at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March 2020.

“For many years, John Deere and Hitachi enjoyed a mutually successful partnership in the Americas,” said John Stone, president, John Deere Construction & Forestry Division and Power Systems. “As we turn the page to a new chapter of Deere-designed excavators, we remain committed to supporting our customers of today and tomorrow.”

John Deere will acquire the Deere-Hitachi joint-venture factories in Kernersville, Langley and Indaiatuba, and the manufacturer will continue producing Deere-branded construction and forestry excavators at the three sites.

According to John Deere, the three factories will discontinue production of Hitachi-branded excavators, but Deere will still offer a full portfolio of excavators through a supply agreement with Hitachi.

However, John Deere’s marketing arrangement for Hitachi-branded construction excavators and mining equipment in the North and South America will end, and Hitachi will assume distribution and support for these products, the companies said.

“Looking to the future, John Deere will build on our legacy of quality and productivity and accelerate development of industry-leading technology and machinery that answers the fundamental need for smarter, safer and more sustainable construction so our customers can shape tomorrow’s world,” Stone said.

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