Agriculture and mining equipment manufacturer John Deere is ending a 33-year-old joint venture with Hitachi Construction Machinery, and in the process acquiring three plants operated by that joint venture in Kernersville, N.C., Indaiatuba, Brazil, and Langley, B.C. The value of those acquisitions was not announced.
Beginning in March 2022, Deere and Hitachi will enter into new license and supply agreements, under which Deere will continue to source, manufacture, and distribute Deere-brand construction and excavating equipment for the North and South American markets.
Deere’s marketing arrangement for Hitachi-brand hydraulic excavators and mining trucks will end, and Hitachi will assume distribution and support for those products.
The new agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
The joint-venture dates to 1988, through the North Carolina plant, but it was expanded subsequently to incorporate the Canadian and Brazilian operations. "For many years, John Deere and Hitachi enjoyed a mutually successful partnership in the Americas," stated John Stone, president, John Deere Construction & Forestry Division and Power Systems. "As we turn the page to a new chapter of Deere-designed excavators, we remain committed to supporting our customers of today and tomorrow."
Stone added that John Deere will continue to develop technology and manufacture machinery that “answers the fundamental need for smarter, safer, and more sustainable construction so our customers can shape tomorrow's world."
Hitachi claims it plans to provide digital, automation and future powertrain technologies directly to the North American mining sector through its wholly-owned businesses, Wenco, Bradken, and H-E Parts.
Also, Hitachi is due to unveil a comprehensive, digital support for mining operations, called ConSite®.
“Upon the dissolution of the alliance and starting from March 2022, Hitachi Construction Machinery will be able to provide the newest products, technologies, and services directly to our customers through our independent dealer network, as part of the integrated Hitachi Construction Machinery Group activities throughout the North, Central, and South American markets,” according to a statement.