Deere & Company has been a manufacturer of agricultural equipment for over 180 years, ever since Illinois blacksmith John Deere created a self-scouring polished steel plow in 1837. Members of the Deere family continued to lead the company for the next 140 years, as it expanded its range of products and global footprint. The key development was the acquisition of Waterloo Boy gasoline-powered tractors in 1918, which took the business into engine-powered machinery for the first time. Deere now makes a variety of equipment ranging from industrial tractors and combine harvesters to residential garden mowers. There are joint ventures with Hitachi in the Americas and with Ashok Leyland in India to manufacture construction and forestry heavy machinery. The group acquired German group Wirtgen, a specialist in road construction equipment, in 2017 for $5.1bn. The John Deere brand joined the ranks of Interbrand's Best Global Brands for the first time in 2011. After peaking in 2013, revenues gradually slipped back over the next few years as a result of a slowdown in the global farming economy. Topline for the year to 2016 fell to multi-year lows of $26.6bn, before rebounding over the next few years. Revenues hit a new company high for ye Nov 2019 of $39.3bn, with net income of $3.3bn. Agricultural & turf equipment (including industrial harvesters, tillers and sprayers as well as consumer lawnmowers) accounted for around two-thirds of equipment sales, and construction & forestry for most of the rest. John May succeeded Sam Allen as CEO in 2019.
Capsule checked 28th October 2020
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