A long-time Salina-based company is being sold to a company in Japan. Employees at Great Plains Manufacturing were notified Thursday that the company is being sold to Kubota U.S.A. Inc.
Kubota Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Great Plains Manufacturing. Once final, the purchase will expand the company’s long-time partnership with Land Pride and will include all five Great Plains divisions with multiple facilities in Kansas and a manufacturing plant in Sleaford, England.
Since 2007, Kubota has worked closely with Land Pride to provide quality, performance-matched implements to Kubota dealers and customers across the U.S. and Canada. “This acquisition aligns with our long-term strategic vision to continue our market expansion and provide high-quality products and comprehensive solutions for our customers,” said Mr. Masato Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corporation. “Great Plains and Kubota share a common set of values in that we both were founded four decades ago on a reputation for quality, innovation and engineering excellence. We believe these synergies will continue to add value for our dealers and our customers for many years to come.”
For the foreseeable future, all five Great Plains divisions will continue to operate as they have been with their infrastructure intact. “Once final, this acquisition is going to lead to great advancements for both businesses without being a significant change for our people,” emphasized Todd Stucke, senior vice president of sales, marketing and product support for Kubota. “We intend to respect the distinctiveness of the brands, trademarks and operational strengths. Doing so will allow employees, dealers and customers to do business with the same great companies they have come to know and trust.”
Roy Applequist, Great Plains’ founder and chairman will remain on the leadership team to help guide the operations and facilitate a seamless transition. “My plan is to play a significant role in helping Great Plains become a vital part of the Kubota family,” said Applequist. “Great Plains’ leadership position in the agricultural implement business has been earned by striving to do our best in satisfying our customers’ needs, and we are confident that teaming up with Kubota will allow us to continue to uphold this tradition.”
Partnering with Mr. Applequist in overseeing and managing the transition is Linda Salem, president of Great Plains Manufacturing. “I’ve worked alongside Roy for 26 years, and I intend to carry forward the entrepreneurial and successful legacy that he has created at Great Plains,” expressed Salem. “I’ve also worked collaboratively with Kubota for over 10 years, which has allowed us to create a foundation for a strong working relationship that we will continue to build as we move forward.”
The partnership further builds on Kubota’s presence in Kansas where the company recently announced the establishment of its North American Distribution Center in Edgerton, Kansas, which serves as the primary distribution hub for Kubota parts and whole goods distribution across the U.S. and Canada. The company’s expanding presence in the state well-equips it to complete a seamless transition to ensure existing Great Plains and Land Pride customers continue to receive the same reliable and professional support they are accustomed to.
Great Plains Manufacturing was founded in 1976 by Roy Applequist and employs over 1,400 people in eight Kansas communities and Sleaford, England. It encompasses five divisions: Great Plains Ag, which manufactures seedbed preparation, nutrient application, and seed placement equipment; Land Pride, which manufactures grounds maintenance tools such as mowers, rototillers, rotary cutters, and dirt-working equipment; Great Plains International, which sells the company’s products worldwide; Great Plains Trucking, which operates a nationwide fleet of flatbed trucks; and Great Plains Acceptance Corporation, which finances the company’s products. Great Plains Mfg., Inc., is headquartered in Salina, Kansas.