From plows to worldwide conglomerate
In 2012, Deere & Co., Moline, Ill., is in a celebratory mood. This year, the company marks the 175th anniversary of its founding, when the company’s namesake, John Deere, successfully manufactured and marketed the self-scouring plow in 1837.
Deere moved from his home in Vermont to start a small blacksmith shop in Grand Detour, Ill., and later moved the business to Moline, where the world headquarters is located today. The company incorporated as Deere & Co. in 1868.
The company has come a long way since then, having transformed into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of agricultural and forestry equipment as well as construction and turf care equipment, employing more than 60,000 people worldwide.
For 2011, the company reported record income of $2.8 billion on net sales and revenues of $32 billion and Deere aims to achieve the lofty goal set last year by Sam Allen, Deere’s chairman and CEO, of doubling its sales related to a base year of 2010 to reach $50 billion by 2018.
“As our recent performance shows, we’re making good progress,” Allen told shareholders at the company’s 2012 annual meeting in Moline on Feb. 29, 2012.
“In spite of recessionary pressures of recent years, we have achieved earnings records in six of the last eight years — and broke through the old mark by almost $1 billion in 2011,” Allen said.
To read the rest of Wayne Walley's article, including an interview with Mike Mack, president of Deere's Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division, from the April issue of Rental Management magazine, click here.
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