Deere will consolidate ag, commercial and consumer divisions

In an effort to reduce costs, Deere and Company is combining their agricultural, commercial and consumer divisions into one. Effective May 1st, the Worldwide Agriculture andTurf Division will eliminate some 200 salaried jobs and consolidate efforts at the world’s largest farm machinery company. The company will also take a $25 million restructuring charge in their fiscal fourth quarter which ends October 31st.

Due to the collapse in thehousing market, Deere’s consumer and commercial division saw sales drop 25 percent in the first quarter and post an operating loss of $59 million. While agricultural equipment sales were good in 2008, they expect a 2 percent decline in ag sales for 2009. Dow Jones News says Deere stock has fallennearly 60 percent in the past year.

David Everitt and Markwart von Pentz will serve as co-presidents of the new division. Everitt will oversee tractor, turf and utility equipment production along with sales and marketing in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China,Asia, India and part of Africa. Von Pentz will cover sales in Europe, South America, Mexico and the rest of the world while overseeing crop harvesting, hay and forage and crop care product production.

The changes do not affect the Construction and Forestry Division or JohnDeere Credit.

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