The Equipment Dealer’s Assn. (EDA) announced the recipients of the 2019 Dealer’s Choice and Gold Level awards. The Dealer’s Choice Award is presented to the top rated company in each of EDA’s four manufacturer categories based on results of the annual Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey. 

This year’s selections included:

  • Full line Manufacturer: Claas
  • Tractor Manufacturer: LS Tractor
  • Shortline Manufacturer: Vermeer
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Manufacturer: Scag

This year’s Dealer’s Choice Award recipients have consistently topped their respective manufacturer categories over the last several years.  This is LS Tractor’s fifth consecutive Dealer’s Choice award and Vermeer’s fifth in seven years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019). Scag has received Dealer’s Choice honors in the OPE category four times, including the last 3 years running. Full line manufacturer, Claas received the Dealer’s Choice Award for the first time in 2018.

The award stirred up some controversy last year as some manufacturers challenged Claas being considered a full line manufacturer. Previously, the company was categorized as a shortline manufacturer.

Responding to the challenge, last year EDA officials said Claas was put into the full line category because it matches the group’s full line classification of a manufacturer that produces a full complement of equipment, including combines, harvesting machines, tractors and implements.

“Since they manufacture all that equipment, based upon that definition we put them in our full line category,” Joe Dykes, EDA’s vice president of Industry Relations, said at the time.

John Schofield, Claas’ North American marketing coordinator, added people oftentimes associate shortline manufacturers as making only one product line, such as grain carts. “In our case, we have been expanding our line of products in the last number of years,” he says, adding that the addition of tractors in recent years may have served as the “linchpin” in pushing Claas into consideration as a full line manufacturer.

This follows the addition of Kubota as a full line manufacturer in the 2017 edition of the survey. The company was added because of its addition of hay tools, tillage and planting equipment to its product lineup in recent years through a number of acquisitions.