Kubota spreading the good news
Imagine the situation - you are the number one in your particular field of business. You know that your products are best sellers, the people who work in your company know it, your dealers know it but, unfortunately, no-one else does.
The question is - what do you do about it?
That was the issue facing Kubota - the UK's leading supplier of small tractors, mini excavators and diesel engines. So, they decided some action was needed. A new team was put in place with the objective of maintaining and increasing the company's market position, and then making sure that others knew about it.
Hence, this week, the industry's press and media were the guests at the Kubota offices in Thame, Oxfordshire.
Dave Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager of Kubota's Tractor and Groundcare Division was the host, ably assisted by the company's newly appointed Marketing Co-ordinator, Rhian Kendall.
It was a back to the beginnings presentation, with a brief history of the company since its formation by Mr Kubota in Osaka in 1889 to the launch of the UK subsidiary in 1979, and its growth to date. As with most historical stories there were some fascinating insights, in particular the way products have developed to meet ever changing demands, the prime example being the company's extensive range of small tractors which have originated from its first compact 'paddy field' tractor produced in 1960.
Similarly, the company demonstrated a great deal of pride in how it is leading the field in the development of small, low emission diesel engines.
For a company with a turnover in excess of £80 million, there is a surprisingly low number of staff, just 72, with 4 senior managers from the parent Japanese company in situ at any one time.
A tour of the headquarters, currently undergoing a major upgrade of its distribution and after sales areas, was followed by a visit to the nearby Oxfordshire Golf Course. The day was concluded with a viewing of Kubota's new models for 2006, both of which had been showcased at Harrogate Week. A 'standard specification' compact tractor retailing at under £10,000, the L3200, and the F80 series of diesel out front rotary ride-ons, the successor to the F60 series.
I am sure we will hear more about these machines as the year progresses. I cannot believe for one minute that Kubota are going to be hiding their light under a bushel ever again.
Photos: (Top)Assembly in the warehouse; (Right) Press viewing the F80.