US firm opens African parts centre

19 March 2013

American agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO and its local partners have opened an African master parts distribution centre in Johannesburg to build the company’s sub-Saharan African network.

“AGCO’s new state-of-the-art warehouse will allow us to better serve our customers in sub-Saharan Africa with high-quality products and services,” AGCO CEO Martin Richenhagen said at the official opening of the centre on Friday.

AGCO has a presence in over 140 countries and designs, manufactures and distributes agricultural equipment such as tractors, combines, sprayers and hay tools in five core brands: Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra.

It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.

Located close to OR Tambo airport on Johannesburg’s East Rand, the warehouse is at the centre of a well-connected logistics network, said AGCO director for Africa and the Middle East, Nuradin Osman.

The new warehouse is an important step in the firm’s plans to improve its after-sales service. It will stock up to 40 000 parts to improve response times and cut down on machine downtime.

“Overall AGCO is investing about $35-million in the after-sales service infrastructure in Africa to ensure excellent parts availability and machine uptime,” Osman said.

“Having successfully established the new African master warehouse, we will now focus on developing satellite warehouses in east and west Africa to support these growing markets.”

The warehouse will also deal in parts shipments to AGCO’s southern Africa distributor Barloworld to expand its range of locally stocked parts.

“In addition to the implementation of the new master parts distribution centre in Johannesburg, AGCO has taken further strategic steps to expand its presence in Africa – opening a Global Learning Center and Future Farm in Zambia that allows local farmers and dealers to be trained on modern farming technology,” the company said.

It has also established a joint venture with local partners in Algeria to manufacture Massey Ferguson tractors for the African market.

SAinfo reporter