John Deere has announced the signing of a strategic partnership with EGO and its parent company Chervon. Under the agreement, EGO’s lineup of over 70 battery-powered lawn care products will soon become available at John Deere dealers. This is wonderful news for consumers looking to abandon gas-dependent lawn work, but there is a tinge of capitulation in this deal we can’t overlook.
If you haven’t heard of John Deere, I’d wager you’re a visitor from another planet walking among the human race, or you grew up in Apple TV+’s Silo. Whether you or a childhood friend were raised around toy green tractors, or you’ve randomly had the slogan “nothing runs like a Deere” randomly pop into your head, there’s no denying the cultural influence of the green and yellow brand, especially for a company that builds mowers and backhoes.
Part of Deere & Company’s ($DE) global recognition comes from its impressive history. The company was founded in the great state of Illinois a head-spinning 186 years ago, where it remains headquartered today. In nearly two centuries in operations, John Deere has risen into the top 100 of Fortune 500 companies, but you don’t stay ahead by sitting still.
The company continues to innovate, introducing new technologies like autonomous tractors and has recently begun advertising a zero-turn electric mower (seen below). Although the veteran equipment manufacturer has made vows to introduce more electric products, it still sits like a Deere in the headlights of other companies like EGO, that are already selling dozens of all-electric lawn care products around the globe.
While John Deere slowly but surely(?) electrifies its smaller products, it has signed a partnership with EGO – a clear competitor, to help sell the latter’s products across its dealer network.
John Deere selling EGO products is an interesting strategy
John Deere announced the new partnership with EGO earlier today, which will enable the sale of battery-electric products across the former’s network of dealers. The vice president of John Deere’s turf and compact utility business, David Thorne spoke to the new deal with EGO:
Simplifying the landscape management of properties is what drives us every day. We seek to provide our customers with a broad range of tools, which will now include a battery ecosystem that can be extended into a variety of property care solutions. Partnering with a leading electric solutions brand, like EGO, to provide top-quality battery-powered equipment will propel both John Deere and Chervon into a stronger market position to serve our evolving customers
Having expanded availability is a huge win for consumers and for the environment, as we’d like to hope more Deere customers go electric – at least with smaller equipment like mowers, weed whackers, etc. That being said, this is an interesting business decision by John Deere who keeps saying it’s developing its own electric products. Very few have yet to reach the market, however.
EGO, on the other hand, is already selling tons of products in over 100 countries and is arguably the number-one rated brand it battery-powered outdoor equipment – a title you’d think a name like John Deere would be working around the clock to snag.
According to a spokesperson for John Deere, EGO’s products will become available across its dealer network in the US and Canada beginning this fall. The company are also discussing the possibility of developing future equipment together. Until then, keep an eye out for EGO products at your local John Deere dealer.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em… or help ’em sell ’em?
By signing this partnership, I’d argue that John Deere is admitting it’s behind on electrification. It may very well be working tirelessly behind the scenes to get there, but it’s clearly not where it wants to be. Hence why the company just agreed to sell the products of a major competitor, arguably the best in the segment right now and most certainly the most popular.
My family uses a bunch of EGO products and they’re fantastic, in addition to being emissions-free. There’s no going back after them and I’m sure plenty of other people feel the same way. So what happens when someone goes to John Deere for a zero turn mower and picks the EGO version because it’s already available and highly rated? Do they abandon the Deere brand? Unlikely, but possible.
Also, back to the mowers, is John Deere going to try to sell its upcoming electric zero-turn mower alongside EGO’s? The fact that EGO has three different versions that are all already on the market shows how far ahead of John Deere the company already is in terms of electrification.
As I said before, this news is worth noting because it’s a win for electrification and alluring more consumers to give it a try. It’s also a win for EGO, which gains access to a huge, respected network in the industry. I guess it’s a win for John Deere in the sense that it will get some portion of sales made through its network, but I’m sure it would rather be taking 100% of those sales from loyal customers buying its own electric products. I could see John Deere eventually trying to flat out buy EGO too.
Better get moving guys, before the kids start riding around the yard on a toy mower from EGO instead of John Deere.
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