Having worked with New Holland tractors for over 50 years, when an opportunity arose to establish a new dealership in the Chichester area, Michael Newton jumped at the chance.
Over the decades, Michael and his team based in Selsey, West Sussex, have built a solid reputation for leasing New Holland tractors. The launch of MJN Tractors heralds a new era for farmers in the region as the firm is now able to extend its high level of customer care, service and support into retail sales.
“We are already well established as a New Holland lease depot, working with farmers and agricultural contractors over a considerable area,” said Matt Pinnington, sales manager at MJN Tractors. “While we are still operating a 200-strong fleet of hire vehicles, we are now also able to help regional customers looking to purchase tractors, machinery and parts.”
Alongside supplying the entire New Holland agricultural range, over the past year MJN Tractors has also taken on two franchises, Köckerling and Kongskilde, to be able to offer customers everything from grassland and tillage equipment, to telehandlers, cultivators, balers, combine harvesters, ploughs, and drills. “While we have a good range of machinery at the moment there are plans to expand further,” said Matt. “We are looking to take on more machinery for our dairy customers, for instance, such as slurry tankers and muck spreaders, and will look to work with franchises which can complement our existing offering.”
When it comes to demonstrating the new range of equipment, MJN Tractors has been well supported by Edward East at Kongskilde and Nigel Long at Samagri, who imports the Köckerling range.
“Nigel and Edward have been extremely helpful, not only providing us with better access to demo machines, but also by attending the demos themselves and being on hand to discuss the capabilities with farmers,” said Matt.
Something for everyone
Benefiting from the new retail arm of the business, MJN Tractors is now geared up to serve all farmers, whether leasing or purchasing, and its machinery and equipment offering has helped the team to create more of a ‘one-stop-shop’, enabling them to provide hire fleet customers with high quality equipment too.
“Leasing has always been a cost-effective way for farmers to ensure their fleet of tractors are always up to date and never at risk of age-related breakdown issues,” said Matt. “However, a lot of our customers want to have the peace of mind that the vehicle is theirs and that they have a tradeable asset. Our new retail capabilities enable us to deliver another option, and we are very excited to finally be able to offer something for everyone.”
Whether farmers are looking to hire for six, nine or 12 months, or purchase outright, all new tractors are built to order, allowing farmers to choose exactly what size and specification they require.
“Our customers are operating across a variety of agricultural sectors, from vineyards to large arable enterprises so we need to be able to supply everything from the compact, 40 horse power models right up to the large T8 430 horse power units,” said Matt. “Some farmers are looking for a very specific set up and it is important that we can tailor tractors to meet exact requirements.”
For those looking for second hand machines too, not only does the lease fleet generate a consistent supply of used stock, but MJN Tractors also has unique access to the models and specifications which are due to be retired from its range of hire vehicles.
“We are unbeaten when it comes to helping customers find the right second hand machines,” said Matt. “Other dealerships maybe able to see which units we have, but they don’t have the knowledge we do. We know the hire customers personally and can advise on where the tractor has been, what type of work it has been doing and how it has been maintained and kept. We have a number of tractors coming from this year’s hire fleet which are already pre-sold and ready to go to a customer.”
Keeping customers farming
While the retail side may still be in its infancy and developing rapidly, one already established, concrete area of the business is the team’s exemplary experience and offering in service and support.
“Having operated the lease fleet for so many years, we know how important it is to ensure that after sales support, servicing and breakdown cover, is spot on,” said Matt. “Our primary focus is to keep our customers farming no matter what and another benefit of the lease fleet is the ability to provide a courtesy tractor if the breakdown is major.”
Headed up by Richard Barclay, the workshop team of nine is made up of a mixture of skilled engineers with over 15 years’ experience working with New Holland, and a number of younger, next generation mechanics, all of whom equally divide their time between leased and purchased, between break-down call out and servicing.
“There are a lot of brand specific features on tractors and although we are one of New Holland’s newest dealerships, the team is well acquainted with the manufacturer’s range,” said Matt. “We also have more mechanics on site than most dealers have in one depot, we continuously invest in training the team and have recently purchased a new dyno which has significantly improved our diagnostic testing capabilities. Service is without a doubt what sets us apart from other dealerships.”
Since expanding into retail sales, MJN Tractors has also added a parts branch to the business which is managed by Gill Smith. Whether looking for parts for a vintage Ford, an older New Holland or a brand-new model, customers are now able to order direct through the team.
Looking to the future, MJN Tractors is hoping to become more involved with the rural community and will be attending a number of ploughing matches and agricultural shows in the Chichester area.