Vermeer Corporation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first dealership this year. The Pella-based company incorporated its first dealership in the world in Findlay, Ohio, on August 3rd, 1960, after a salesman was able to sell three stump cutters in the area after his car broke down.
Mike Schmidt, Industrial Distribution Development Manager at Vermeer, says the opening of the dealership in Findlay was a huge step in making Vermeer a bigger player in the national – and eventually international – marketplace.
“Opening that first dealership was the first step in taking Vermeer from just a manufacturer with a localized and limited reach into more of a manufacturing enterprise with a global distribution network,” said Schmidt.
He adds that the first Vermeer dealership provided a foothold for the company to grow its distribution.
“Once they [Vermeer] set up in Findlay in the northwestern part of Ohio, they just looked to expand outwardly from there,” said Schmidt. “They found out there were a lot of tree customers and tree contractors and thought that would be a good place to set up shop closer to their customers.”
Schmidt says Vermeer Corporation currently has around 400 dealerships nationwide for its agricultural line, along with 114 industrial dealerships and several more distributors in foreign countries on every continent except Antarctica.