Last week saw the Rochford Garden Machinery team set out on a week of Dealer Roadshows, starting in Betchworth in Surrey, followed by Newark in Nottinghamshire, and ending at Sparkford in Somerset.
Stewart Anderson presenting at Haynes Motor Museum
The first show in Betchworth attracted a strong attendance for the first RGM show in the South East for a number of years, and Nottinghamshire again brought a large crowd. The final event in Sparkford always proves exceptionally popular, with the total number of dealers visiting throughout the week in excess of 300.
“The turnout was very good, we decided to take our show to our dealers, rather than asking them to come to a single location event, and it was definitely worth it. I would say this was one of the best dealer events I have ever been a part of and the response from our new products has been fantastic,” said Stewart Anderson, Managing Director of Rochford Garden Machinery.
Luke Stephens presents the AL-KO Robotic Garden
The format for the day started with Stewart presenting a brief overview of the company’s performance, with exceptional growth for AL-KO, Mitox, and Weibang. Overall The company has had a strong result in 2017, despite what many have called a challenging year. Stewart then presented the new brand identity and range for Weibang which is now fully available.
“The new range is perfect, not only is it now proven in terms of exceptional reliability and performance, but it’s also now appealing to the consumer. The only apology we have to make in 2017 is for not having enough stock, as orders far exceeded even our expectations especially with our shaft drive product.”
Bonnie Rallison talks dealers through the new AL-KO tractor
The new range sees a new identity, with the domestic range changing to a rich high gloss red, with metallic silver features, and the pro range staying in hammerite black, but with the same silver features. “We first previewed the concept 12 months ago, response was phenomenal and we are pleased to say that the transition is now complete, as well as the concept now being used as the official identity for Weibang worldwide,” said Stewart.
As well as the complete range now being available in the new identity, other new products for 2018 include a new line of wheeled leaf and litter vacuums for estate and professional use. “We gained feedback from dealers after showing a prototype and these changes have all been put into production with the result being an exceptional wheeled vac” said Stewart.
Mark Rochford presenting at Haynes Motor Museum
Following Stewart came Mark Rochford who introduced the new AL-KO Comfort tractor range. “The best just got better,” said Mark as he explained the role dealer feedback had played in the new range's development. The range has been completely redesigned and replaces the very popular Edition tractors with new levels of quality and performance.
Lewis Anderson showing the strength of a Weibang
Other new products from the AL-KO brand include a new range of robotic lawnmowers. “The market has exploded across Europe and be under no illusion the time is right in the UK,” said Mark. The range now caters for all gardens up to 2000sq/m and all products are designed in Germany and built in Austria."
A new range of premium cordless products was launched called PowerFlex, utilising a 42V Max 7.5Ah battery and offering premium petrol performance. Finally from AL-KO was a new range of opening pricepoint petrol lawnmowers called the EASY range.
MITOX® was next up with a completely new range of brushcutters. Stewart introduced the new range which feature Xforce engine technology as he explained, “nearly all 2-stroke engines from the far east produce the same power output, we’ve been working over the last couple of years to produce the same power output as the premium brands from Japan and Europe and our new range produces as much as 60% more power than the previous generation.”
The new Mitox brushcutter range proved popular
Other new products from MITOX® included a new handheld blower and blower/vacs at price points from £99 and all genuine EUROII, full crank engines.
Other updates included a new marketing plan for 2018, with all new showroom stands for AL-KO and Mitox, and a range of bespoke Point of Sale designed to offer customers better information, and act as a valuable sales tool for showroom staff.
DR Field & Brush Mowers were in action
Also in attendance at the roadshows were Excalibur, showing their dealer business system, specially designed for service dealers which saw a great response.
Following the morning presentations, the afternoon was all about demonstrations, allowing all in attendance the opportunity to use the new range and put it through its paces. “Everyone was keen to get out and use the products in rain or shine. From my point of view the best demonstrations were in the rain, as dealers could not believe the performance of the lawnmowers, and an awful lot of grass was cut over the course of the week, with fantastic positive feedback and new stockists signing up all over the country,” said Stewart.
The full DR range was popular as ever
The whole team would like to thank all those dealers who attended, and made this the best roadshow Rochford’s have ever had.
Rochford’s 2018 Pre-season and Trade Terms are now available, speak to your Rochford’s ASM for details or call the trade sales office on 01963 828006.
Mark & Bonnie presenting the simplified AL-KO lawnmower range