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Massey - Deere ?

By richard - Posted on 15 April 2016

In 1955, Massey President James Duncan approached Deere about merging the two companies. In some areas, such a deal made sense for Deere. Deere had been attempting to expand internationally and here was a chance to have a ready-made overseas distribution and manufacturing system. It also helped Deere in the western part of the United States, where Massey had strong dealerships and where Deere's partnership with Caterpillar was beginning to dissolve.

However, there were also a myriad of possible problems. Starting at the top, it would not have been easy to merge the two groups of officers, directors, engineers, etcetera. There also might have been an adverse reaction to one of Canada's most prominent corporations being taken over by an American firm. Distribution and dealerships would have had major overlaps, especially in an era when most every town with a population of over 1,000 had some sort of farm implement dealership.

A question that probably comes to mind for us collectors is - what about the product lines? By 1955, Deere was already knee deep into the development of the New Generation tractors, but since Massey was already selling multi-cylinder tractor, would it have had an influence on the new design? Whose would have won out? Surely there would have been some wailing and gnashing of teeth in the engineering and sales department.

Two meetings were held between officials of the two companies, but the possible problems for Deere seemed to far out balance the benefits of quickly becoming an international company.

I would imagine that for us collectors, it is best that the merger never took place though it is hard to say for certain what might have happened. At any rate, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a Great Year.