Alamo Group Europe

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Alamo Group Europe's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Alamo Group Europe is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
Highlighting best practice
Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE DL
FIAGrE, CEO of AGE Ltd and vice-
president of Alamo Inc. (USA)
McConnel’s new Agribuggy A280 is a self-propelled
crop sprayer with a unique low ground pressure design
Alamo Group Europe Ltd (AGE Ltd) was incorporated in
September 1991 at a time when Britain was witnessing
what seemed to be an irreversible decline in its
manufacturing base. This started with an over-dependence on
a few major industries decades ago and is barely levelling out
today. As a new boy on the block, therefore, not only was AGE
Ltd determined to make a success of manufacturing when it
seemed the wheels of such an industry were falling off, but
it was also entering the realm of agriculture, which was far
from well-starred. Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, AGE Ltd’s CEO,
discusses how the company has developed and thrived since its
When we incorporated AGE Ltd, it never felt like a gamble against the odds.
Instead, it involved acquiring and reinvigorating existing companies with good
reputations, and supplying a strong demand by manufacturing excellent and
innovative machinery.
When I was charged with forming AGE Ltd as the European arm of Alamo USA,
our intention was to facilitate the expansion of the group both within the United
Kingdom and across the Channel, which we knew offered the largest market in
the world at that time for the sale of tractor-mounted hedge or verge mowers. We
saw this as an opportunity to dominate a niche market, and this became our initial
strategy: we were determined to become leaders across the world in the design
and manufacture of tractor-mounted reach arm mowers.
»CEO: Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE
»Established in 1991
»UK headquarters in Evesham,
»Services: Agricultural and
industrial manufacturing
»No. of employees: 3,279
»Alamo Inc. sales in 2017: £686
Alamo Group
Europe Ltd
An acquisitive journey
The first acquisition, made barely two
months after incorporation, was that
of British company McConnel Ltd in the
market town of Ludlow, Shropshire.
In its own domain, this was a world-
famous company, known as the “Home
of the Hedgecutter”, because it brought
to market the first ever tractor-mounted
hedge cutter in 1947. We followed a
steady course to secure our strategy
over the following decade, capturing
competitors and major players in the
field by specialising in the design and
manufacture of these types of products.
The road to success included:
»1993: Bomford Turner Ltd (UK)
»1994: Signalisation Moderne
Autoroutiere SA (France)
»1994: Forges Gorce (France)
»2000: Twose of Tiverton Ltd (UK)
»2002: Faucheux Industries SA
»2004: Rousseau Holdings SA (France)
»2005: Spearhead Machinery Ltd (UK)
With each acquisition, we were able
to build on widely recognised names,
improve efficiencies, strengthen
marketing tactics, build sales and
grow a group with multiple brand
identities and a range of highly
attractive products. Meanwhile, across
the Atlantic, further acquisitions were
made by Alamo Inc., adding other
well-known companies engaged in this
area of the market: Rhino and Tiger
in the USA, and Schulte Industries Ltd
An international presence
We set out to conquer a niche
vegetation maintenance manufacturing
market, and did so by the early part
of the century, achieving a state of
global leadership. Since then, we have
maintained our dominance by working
closely with customers to ascertain
their exact requirements and to provide
them with innovative designs to meet
these needs. In this way, a market-led
programme of product development
and innovation has become integral to
all companies within the group.
After dominating the mower arm
market, we moved then to diversifying
the group’s product range. This
started with the acquisition of Rivard
Development SAS in France in 2008 – a
leading French manufacturer of vacuum
trucks, high-pressure cleaning systems
and trenchers that lay underground
cables. This enabled us to broaden our
product offering to customers in Europe
and the other markets that we serve.
More recently, in 2014, we acquired
Kellands Agricultural Ltd in the UK and
its subsidiary Multidrive Tractors Ltd.
Kellands manufactures and supplies
self-propelled sprayers and a range of
multi-purpose, load-carrying tractor
Over the years, we have steadily
introduced new and innovative
products to such an extent that
we have become market leaders
for cutting-edge remote-control
Distinction and growth
It has been a core philosophy of the
group to keep each acquired business
as a distinct, separate business entity,
An ecological advance
from Rousseau: the
world’s first semi-electric
hedge and verge cutter
We followed a
and major
players in the
Highlighting best practice
largely in charge of its own future and
building on the value of its brand name.
Most of these companies already
have a great start in this respect and
are well known in their countries and
regions by the farm communities and
local governments that make up their
customers. Each company also retains
its own management team, sales
operation, marketing and design so
that we can fully differentiate one
product line from another.
Most unusually perhaps, companies
making similar products sometimes
compete fiercely with sister companies.
Through this we drive competitive
innovation and offer customers
the widest choice of specifications
and features. This approach also
works because each company has
developed its own strengths, whether
to do with its geographical customer
base or its position within a market.
Only the purchasing and corporate
finance departments are centralised,
alongside a small part of the
One of the major gains from these
acquisitions has been an increased
distribution exposure within both
our home and export markets. As
a result, we now have a dealer and
distribution network which extends to
thousands of outlets. As we channel a
growing volume of sales through our
manufacturing units, we can produce
economies of scale that enable us to
keep our factories busy.
In reflection
Our progress to date is the result of
energy and determination, a skilled and
committed workforce and a constant
push to develop new and better
machines that will serve an evolving
market. We will continue to grow
through acquisition, but we will also
build on the organic growth driven by
the farming and governmental sectors
where environmental management
of the countryside is increasingly
Our current product range, across
all companies, displays our global
leadership and demonstrates our
extensive capabilities. Through the
ingenuity of our in-house research and
development teams, and by working
with universities that specialise in areas
such as precision farming, we will
continue our leadership and create
products to meet the demands of the
next generation and beyond.
We now have
a dealer and
which extends
to thousands
of outlets
The Rivard Hydro
excavator, a market
leader in the provision of
non-destructive digging
– a simple and very
reliable design

This article was sponsored by Alamo Group Europe. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy