Ten years after acquiring and merging with Case IH to form CNH, New Holland is actively seeking to regain its footing in the North American market.
The company maintains strong market share worldwide in combines, specialty tractors and other specialized equipment, like grape and olive harvesters. However, the merger in 1999 seems to have shaken New Holland North America the most.
Abe Hughes, vice president of New Holland North America, refers to the formation of CNH as "the big bang that destabilized our brand.
"The momentum of CNH did not land on New Holland, and some of our focus and energy was lost," Hughes explained. "We had 10 difficult years after that in what is a classic case study of a business losing its footing."
That started to change in the fall of 2009, when the top management of Fiat Industrial decided to bring New Holland back in North America. (CNH is a publicly held division of Fiat Industrial, which is the world’s third largest capital goods manufacturer. Fiat Industrial includes CNH, Iveco and Fiat Powertrain Technologies.)
"Senior management recognized that New Holland is strong in other regions of the world and that we needed to change things here," Hughes said.
Known for the successful turnaround of both Fiat and Chrysler, top management focused its attention on the blue brand. Watch the "60 Minutes" interview with the leader of Fiat Industrial, Sergio Marchionne.
Hughes was brought in from business development to spearhead a team and the project. For nine months, during each monthly CNH senior management meeting, more than four hours were dedicated exclusively to the plan for New Holland.
"It was a very intense study of how to restructure New Holland North America and bring it back," Hughes said.
You can learn more about how the company is implementing its plan here on the Machinery Journal blog, in the Late Spring issue of Farm Journal, and on "AgDay" TV.