20 farmers from Illinois took the opportunity offered by the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) to visit Fendt in Marktoberdorf. As well as a factory tour, there was also a discussion on ACGO/Fendt's current market position in the US. The regions in which Fendt wants to increase its performance and expand its sales and service network were of particular interest to the visitors. "When choosing a tractor brand, distance to the dealership and the quality of the workshop is crucial for most farmers. That's why I'd like to know – are there any plans to build up a dealer network in Illinois?" asked Ryan Whitehouse. In the US, even the shortest trip can take an hour, but the shorter the journey to the workshop the better. "Our growth strategy in North America focuses on highly interesting agricultural regions such as Illinois, where we are also strengthening our distribution network. We are standing up to the competition in the North American market, confident that our solutions can help farmers in the US work even more successfully," explains Christian Jungclaus, Head of Fendt Globalisation.
Illinois is located in the so-called Corn Belt of the US, its main crops being corn and soy with orchards now also joining the fray. "Here in Germany, crop rotation is much more diverse than in our region. We visited a farmer near Lake Constance yesterday who grows six different types of grain. At home, farmers switch between two crops at most," explains Katie Bishop, Manager of PrairiErth Farm. She and her father-in-law Dave Bishop are particularly enthusiastic about the Europeans' relationship with food and their appreciation of shared mealtimes.
After the extensive tour of the factory, the insights into the product processes left a lasting impression on Greg Anderson and Wayne D. Sirles. "Yesterday we watched Fendt tractors in action on a farm and talked to the farmer about his machines, and today we got to see how the tractors are made. It's come full circle for us," said Greg Anderson. Over lunch together, the American farmers took the opportunity to share what they had seen, as well as exchange ideas with Fendt representatives. The American visitors were also treated to some Fendt beer with their meal. For some it was their first beer since arriving on the Sunday and it seemed to go down a treat. "We truly value our dialogue with US farmers. In talking to them, we can get to know our customers on a personal level and discuss differences and similarities," says Sepp Nuscheler, Press Officer for Fendt.