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Mon March 09, 2020 - Southeast Edition #6
Two years after German manufacturer Bergmann announced its intention to expand into the U.S. construction equipment market, Bergmann Americas Inc. has signed on the dotted line with its very first American dealership — Ascendum Machinery.
In accordance with their partnership agreement, Ascendum will supplement its line of Volvo products sold in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, east Tennessee and North Dakota by offering Bergmann's dump trucks at branch locations in those select states as well. The deal calls for Ascendum to carry both tracked and wheeled machines from Bergmann in 2020, including the dealer's first 15-ton option with Bergmann's C815s wheeled dumper.
Ascendum president and CEO Kenny Bishop told CEG that he was initially made aware of Bergmann during his routine process of exploring other opportunities to complement the Volvo line — with a special recommendation from Bergmann Americas President Kevin O'Donnell — and he really got a sense of the manufacturer's craftmanship once he got to see their operation in person.
"I visited the factory and I was very impressed by the quality of the product, the quality of the people and the quality of the manufacturer and facilities," Bishop said. "I have visited a lot of factories over the years and it was second to none. Bergmann also manufactures parts for Mercedes, Porsche, VW, Audi and several other brands of automobiles.
"They have been building these trucks since 1960, so they've got it down pat. And, they've got a fantastic product. So, we were sold on the product, and here we sit today. It makes sense for us to become the representative for these trucks."
One of the things that Ascendum officials liked best about Bergmann's machines is the simplicity of their product line. They have two basic models (tracked and wheeled) with many configurations that tailor that specific truck to the individual needs of buyers and renters. Additionally, Bergmann's robotics at its brand-new factory powder coat the machines (instead of applying wet paint), which makes for a finish that looks good and holds up well over the life of the machine.
"The quality of the machine, the fit and finish is fantastic," Bishop said. "So, we are excited about the quality products coming out of Germany."
According to O'Donnell, the breakdown of Bergmann's business model is dedicated toward approximately one-third construction, one-third machine engineering and one-third parts. Before any full units are released, Ascendum plans to first stock Bergmann parts on the shelves of its branch locations.
"That was important to me when I was talking with their product support vice president, Sterling Roberts," Bishop explained. "Because a lot of these manufacturers, they bring in the machines and then parts are an afterthought. The fact that Bergmann Americas would bring in parts before they brought machines really resonated with me."
Bergmann Americas will bring inventory to the United States through the Port of Brunswick in Georgia. Most of the trucks will then head to the Spartanburg, S.C., facility for inspection before going out to a dealer's location for retail. A point of emphasis for Ascendum in this partnership is understanding their new products inside and out to better serve customers.
"One of the key things that we want to do is fully develop our product support for these dumpers," Bishop stated. "We want to be better than anyone else when it comes to product support." CEG