Flying Hy: new Scottish dealers hit the ground running

Leigh Dalgleish

HYUNDAI’S new Scottish dealer, Agritrac Exports, has made a flying start thanks to a number of high profile sales in the first few weeks of the year.

The Stirling-based business – part of agricultural machinery specialist HRN Tractors – succeeded long-standing Scottish Hyundai dealer Young Plant Sales at the beginning of the year.

In a step change for Hyundai north of the border, Agritrac is selling the manufacturer’s compact equipment as well as the heavy line kit.

Leigh Dalgleish, formerly of Young Plant and more recently John H McNae, has joined Agritrac as a sales executive. He believes his experience of the Hyundai brand is already proving to be a major asset.

“I know a lot of existing Hyundai customers through my time at Young Plant,” he told Project Plant. “I’ve kept in close contact with them and they’ve never had any issues with the brand. None of them have had a bad word to say about Hyundai. I didn’t have to think twice about coming back to the product.

“It was an easy choice because I know the brand. I know what it’s all about; I know the residual value. The Hyundai re-sale prices are excellent. After nearly five years selling Hyundai at Young Plant, I know that every customer that I’ve sold one to tends to buy a second one and a third one. It’s getting them into the first one (that’s the challenge).”

In terms of deals done so far, Leigh pointed to a number of customers including the first official buyer of a Hyundai mini-excavator sold in Scotland.

“William Pringle, from Pringle Engineering has bought an R60CR-9 mini-digger (which has an operating weight of 6.2 tonnes),” Leigh explained. “It was fitted with a Rototilt tiltrotator supplied by Highland Hammer Hire. 

“Clyde Coast Contracts have been pretty loyal to Hyundai. I sold them their first one five or six years ago; they’ve now got four 145s and are looking to add to their fleet shortly.

“Mike Melville from MAM Contracting, who again is a big Hyundai man, is awaiting his first purchase arriving from Antwerp (Hyundai Europe) – a wheeled HW140 with  two-piece boom. 

“Fankerton Contracts Ltd have also had Hyundai excavators in the past and have ordered an HX140HW Highwalker. I’ve also sold an HX140 to A & S Brown. Steven Brown is a Hyundai fan; he’s got a couple already and was one of the first to phone us.

“We could have sold three to four R80CR-9A excavators by now if we had availability but that will come.”

Leigh highlighted Hyundai’s AAVM (All Around View Monitor) as a prime example of the manufacturer’s innovation and believes quality, as well as after sales service, will be huge selling points. He said there is “definitely” potential for growth for Hyundai in Scotland, especially with the introduction of the smaller machines to the market.

“They’ve been wanting to do it for a while (sell mini-excavators in Scotland),” Leigh said. “Taylor & Braithwaite have been doing it successfully, based in Cumbria. They’ve been very supportive towards us in getting some stock to start with. Hopefully the machines will be as well received as I know they are in England. I think they’re as good as any mini-digger out there.

“What I did last year with Bobcat on the mini-digger side (at John H McNae) was way beyond what I thought it was going to be. The market is still as vibrant and I’m still getting loads of enquiries. It’ll grow again this year. A lot of these hire companies are getting bigger.

“Hyundai needed somebody to do full-line. They needed somebody to do the whole range. The demand is there. Some people want to stick to the same brand. It’s easier for them for spares and the one-stop shop. We’re going to invest heavily in the parts, back-up and service side of it. That’s how you sell the machines and keep your customers. The machine sells itself. That aftermarket, if we can do this right, it’s really exciting times as far as I’m concerned.”

Hyundai customers will have access to some 35 service engineers in Scotland, with the overall HRN operation boasting seven depots across the nation. Leigh said that with more companies setting up bases in the north of Scotland, the importance of being able to provide national coverage and a speedy, local service has never been greater. Overall, he’s hugely optimistic about the challenge ahead.

“With my background with Hyundai, and Stuart’s vast customer base, this is a good fit – a really good fit,” he commented. The Stuart that Leigh is referring to is Stuart Barclay, director of Agritrac Exports. The Barclay family founded HRN Tractors in 1980 and have become a household name in the agricultural machinery industry, establishing strong relationships with manufacturers including John Deere. 

Stuart joined the business in 2001 and told Project Plant the firm had been on the lookout for a dealership to help diversify more into construction. “It’s something different,” he said. “HRN’s history has been agricultural dealers. We were looking for a franchise to diversity a bit more out of agriculture. We were selling second-hand diggers to farmers and some construction guys. Now we have a new franchise we should increase sales and the size of the business. Country-wide, there will be 35 fully trained service engineers. Eight of them were in Belgium last week for training (on Hyundai machines).

“We’re also looking to take on seven or eight apprentices every year.  We have seven depots – Stirling, Perth, Insch, Turriff, Kinloss, Muir of Ord and Caithness.”

Stuart explained some of the changes which have taken place in recent times at Agritrac’s Stirling base, including a new workshop and offices. It’s clear to see this is a business with ambitions to grow.

“We’re quite a young company with a young workforce that’s looking to expand, move forward and create more sales and more market share,” Stuart added. “We’re looking for another salesperson up north but if we go and sell 150 machines, or there’s a lot more interest, we’ll probably need more. It just depends how it all grows.

“Anyone I’ve spoken to about (the new dealership) has been really welcoming. People have been phoning up to say they’ve got some Hyundai diggers that maybe have a bit of age about them. They’ve been asking if they’re going to get service from their local depot, which is maybe further north. It’s a comfort to them that they know there’s somewhere local they can get parts.

“Hyundai is wanting to push really hard in Europe; they see that as a massive growth market. It’s a good fit together.”