New Holland Making a Comeback


Junior Member
New Holland is back,? Abe Hughes II, the company?s vice-president of sales and marketing for North America declared to a group of farm writers in late April at the company?s North American headquarters in Pennsylvania.

It was just one sentence, but it is worth coming over 1,500 miles to hear. In a very real sense, New Holland had been sitting in the wings for years watching other brands go head to head. 

Now, New Holland was saying they were going to climb back in the ring. The question is, can they do it?

?We haven?t really been in the media,? said Hughes, admitting that even the company?s most loyal customers are uncertain about its strength. ?We haven?t really been doing any of this.?

All through the organization, the NH team knows they?ve got a job ahead of them. ?When I worked for a competing manufacturer, we kept an eye on New Holland, but we weren?t too worried about them,? said one of the members of the New Holland management team. ?We thought they were asleep? and they were.?

One of the purposes of the April media event was to demonstrate the sleeping giant has awakened.

The strategy unveiled at the media briefing, intended to breathe new life into the company, is the product of an intense planning effort. ?We spent month after month with senior management,? said Hughes. ?We spent four or five hours (a day) for nine months from 2009 all the way to 2010 figuring out how we come up with the very best plan to reposition, restructure and rejuvenate this brand.

?One of the things that plagued this brand, if you followed it closely over the last 10 years, was there were a lot of leadership changes here, symptomatic of a company that had lost its footing,? Hughes said. ?Since we acquired the Case organization we?ve been a bit out of the game. When they did the acquisition a lot of attention was focused on the other brand, and none of the attention was focused here. So it?s really over the last 10 years that we?ve struggled a bit.? 

Since taking charge of NH?s North American operations, Hughes has put together a new management team and set some clear goals to build on the company?s proud history in hay tool technology, expand its equipment line and move the brand to a stronger market position. 

To do that, the team took a look at where the brand was positioned in the industry, who its customers were and where it needed to go in the future to build on its strengths. ?We needed to really define who are our customers,? Hughes said. ?We have to have the right products for that customer base.?