Cochrane’s has been in the agricultural machinery business for more than 70 years, but they’ve probably never gone through such a big change, so quickly, as they have in the past few months.
A family-owned and -operated agricultural machinery business, Cochranes has dealerships in four locations across the South Island – Amberley, Leeston, Ashburton and Timaru - and are preparing to open branches in Blenheim and Greymonth to support their range of brands into the future. Cochranes has always been a leading dealer of Case IH machinery, as well as carrying products and parts for Kuhn, Dalbo, Duncan, HiSpec, Giltrap, ProDig, Schuitemaker, Sigma 4, and Sumo.
But recently, that remit expanded again, with Cochranes becoming an authorised dealer for New Holland Agriculture machinery, Case IH’s stablemate under the umbrella of CNH Industrial.
Twelve months ago, CNH Industrial reclaimed the distribution of its Case IH and New Holland Agriculture machinery in the New Zealand market, ending a distribution agreement with CB Norwood Distributors. And, in January this year, CNH Industrial announced the establishment of a new retail footprint for New Zealand, with Norwood leaving the CNH Industrial dealer network altogether.
The change was immediate and CNH Industrial’s Case IH dealerships stepped in to take on the role of dealers for New Holland machinery. It all happened very quickly, Chris said, but he can see the benefits for both customers and his business moving forward.
“The customers have been positive about the changes, and are enjoying the level of service and assistance they need and expect. We had a number of New Holland customers ordering new equipment in the first few weeks, and that’s continued, so it’s great to see that level of confidence. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for us as a business, too, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come,” Chris said.
Cochranes has been in the one family for three generations, committed to providing excellent pre- and after-sales support and ensuring customers have the machinery they need, when they need it.
Chris said they recognised how important it was to evolve and adapt to changes in the industry, and to understand the nature of their clients’ businesses, and they had the staff with the knowledge and experience to provide the best advice and support.
“We’ve earned a strong reputation within the industry for our commitment to excellence, and understanding that as agriculture develops and new technologies emerge, we ensure we have the best options available to fulfill customers’ specific requirements,” he said.
With about 70 staff currently, Cochranes is always looking for new talent to add to their business, with a number of new technicians joining the team this year. With the addition of the New Holland brand to the company, too, Chris knows his team will need to grow accordingly to ensure the service levels the company has come to pride itself on.
Chris said 2023 was an exciting year for the business. A good harvest season and reasonable industry outlook, combined with a number of CNH Industrial finance incentive programs, pointed to positive outcomes for customers and the dealer network.
“For Cochranes, there’s a lot to look forward to and we want to share all of these opportunities and benefits with customers so they can make the most of them for the long-term growth of their own farming operations,” he said.