Changing of the guard for Canterbury’s CLAAS Harvest Centres
Published on 08 March 2023
Leading Australasian agricultural machinery distributor, Landpower Group, has acquired the Canterbury-based CLAAS Harvest Centres in Ashburton, Templeton, Timaru, Waipara, and Westland from the Carrfields Group.
The Carrfields Group, founded by Greg Carr, have been a mainstay of the local agriculture industry for more than 45 years and is one of New Zealand's leading agribusiness companies, incorporating livestock, grain and seed, contracting, machinery, irrigation and natural fibres businesses.
Landpower is Australasia's official distributor of CLAAS and other premium farm machinery brands. It owns and operates 18 CLAAS Harvest Centres across Australia and New Zealand and has franchise arrangements with independently owned CLAAS Harvest Centres at an additional 15 locations.
Under a franchise agreement with Landpower, Carrfields has provided the CLAAS Harvest Centre range of leading agricultural machinery brands to the Canterbury, West Coast and Tasman farming communities since 1993. Over that time, they have established a very strong reputation for CLAAS harvesting machinery, AMAZONE and JCB in the region by focussing on a high level of service and support for customers.
Carrfields will continue operating its machinery division under the Carrfields Machinery brand with premium products that were not part of the CLAAS Harvest Centre franchise with Landpower.
Carrfields Group Managing Director Craig Carr said that the two organisations had been discussing their future strategies and the outlook over the next ten years with the franchise agreement due for renewal.
“Doing the right thing by our people and customers was the priority for both organisations. While it’s the end of an era for our family with the CLAAS Harvest Centre franchise, we know our people at each location will have the opportunity to further develop their careers within the wider Landpower network."
Canterbury’s five CLAAS Harvest Centres will join the Australasian network of 33 sites providing agricultural machinery sales and service, including the new Landpower CLAAS Harvest Centre in Yaldhurst, scheduled for completion in March 2024.
Landpower‘s Chief Executive, Richard Wilson, says that, while now part of a more extensive network, Canterbury’s CLAAS Harvest Centres will continue to be based on the local relationships at the heart of the successful regional dealerships.
“Landpower is also a family-owned business, started by Herby and Pam Whyte in 1975. Our current branch network has autonomy and a ‘run it like you own it’ mentality so that it will be business as usual for the five Canterbury CLAAS Harvest Centres under our ownership. The valued customers, suppliers, and local teams of the CLAAS Harvest Centres in Canterbury can expect the same dedication to service and quality that Carrfields has built its local reputation on. Our goal is to help gear up farmers for success through our role in supporting their machinery requirements. With all the challenges involved in farming, significantly increased investment will be required by dealerships to ensure we have the right machinery and service and parts support in place to help our customers operate successfully. We have the resources and long-term commitment to do that well.”
The unconditional sale, which takes effect on Monday, 3 July 2023, includes all stock, motor vehicles, and plant and equipment. Carrfields will retain ownership of the properties and lease them to Landpower.
All team members related to CLAAS, AMAZONE and JCB sold and serviced through the Canterbury CLAAS Harvest Centres are being offered ongoing employment with Landpower.