He thinks it's funny? Joking about needing bodyguards is mocking North America? Heck, I'd figure that statement would be half serious! He'd at least need some riot shields for all the oranges.
What you don't seem to understand is that this article has nothing to do with the situation in North America and color. Actually, color has nothing to do with the North America situation at all. This is all about reducing brands to reduce operating costs. They felt Massey was a stronger brand (and to the company as a global standpoint, it is) and so it stays.
It's bitter sweet for me. I like to see the company continue on and grow, but the A/C and AGCO branded equipment have always been my favorite.
I don't think Richenhagen comes out of his crystal palace to check the weather. He has no concept of the damge he has done to Agco's reputation. I think his henchmen are afraid to tell him how things really are, so he just stays in his little dream world. All of the current and past brand names to choose from, and he chose one that is generally despised in the midwest. Duh. Narrowing to fewer brands is going to cost them more in North America than the bean counters thought they would ever save.
I am not a long term Agco customer, only have a MT 755 and almost bought a White planter, thats as close I get. So for me looking from the outside in, I don't see his quotes and laughs as being that outrageous. I see Agco needing to combine lines and colors period. Its looks weird to see hay equipment going down hwy 81 thats painted red and says Hesston by Massey Ferguson, but so what. I find this whole situation more ridiculous listening to all the complaining by cutomers wanting orange paint and Agco stickers because they grew up on an Allis Chalmers tractor. Support your company as is and move on or move out. Be more concerned about the color of the ground behind your implement or the grain in the tank.
As you stated, "your not a long term customer" which may make it easy for you to join the "just move on crowd". Beyond all of this however, is Richenhagens contempt for customers, and beyond this, it now appears He has contempt for shareholders. Look at 1Q '10 results, down 32% over 1Q '09 which was not a good quarter for the industry. Embedded in this number are 1Q tractor sales down 50% when industry tractor sales were up over the same period (referencing the important over 100HP rowcrop segment). Not good! This issue is now beyond the interests of us who stuck with the company through its early years and is now hitting the bottom line. Obviously, there are large numbers of customers who don't post here but are voting with their checkbooks.
I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that Agco needs to combine lines and products into one brand. However Massey Ferguson is not the brand that can pull it off. In fact, I will say that Agco doesn't have a single brand that can pull that off and really make it work. And making up a new brand out of thin air isn't going to work for them either. That's why I think Agco needs to stick witht their multi-brand strategy that they've talked up since their birth 20 years ago. Deere can bastardize any brand they want, start painting it green and yellow and slap JD on the side and they'll do good with it, even Case IH can make it work pretty good. But sorry to say Agco isn't Deere or Case and I don't think will ever be able to make it work like that.