LELY USA, Inc. and Vermeer Manufacturing Co. — two long-time, respected names in agricultural equipment — have formed a new strategic alliance to market Lely equipment in the United States.

According to a joint statement from both organizations, the alliance will be based at and supported through Vermeer's corporate and manufacturing operations in Pella, Iowa. Lely's current U.S. distribution centers in Wilson, N.C., and Temple, Texas, will close following the move.

According to Lely officials, the move will enable them to consolidate and streamline operations and allow them to focus on other agricultural equipment areas.

The alliance agreement calls for Vermeer personnel to handle marketing, sales, customer service, logistics and parts support for Lely hay and forage products (including Splendimo mowers, Lotus tedders and Hibiscus rakes). Initially, all Lely hay and forage products will be marketed under the Lely brand and colors.

Lely will continue to manage the manufacturing, engineering and new product development functions for United States and other worldwide markets through their offices and production facilities, based in The Netherlands.

“This alliance allows us to take advantage of the tremendous resources Vermeer offers through their U.S. distribution and servicing network,” said Lely USA President Peter Langebeeke. “Providing quality products and customer support has always been of paramount importance to Lely. In recent years, this has been very challenging for us and has caused us to re-think the way we do things. And, since we had already cultivated a very strong working relationship with Vermeer in years past — Lely has provided modular cutterbars for Vermeer Gator Mowers since 1989 — we were at a good, comfortable starting point in our discussions.

“This new alliance marks the beginning of a unique and exciting venture,” said Vermeer President Mary Andringa. “It's a great combination and it offers some tremendous opportunities for both Lely and Vermeer.

The new manufacturing/marketing alliance is the second one in recent years formed by Vermeer. In December 2001, Vermeer and McCormick Tractors announced a similar arrangement.