Briggs Expands Reach into GA, TN Marketplace

Wed May 25, 2005 - Southeast Edition
Jeff Cronin

Briggs Construction Equipment finalized a deal May 17 to become the Case Construction Equipment dealer in the Atlanta, GA, and Chattanooga, TN, markets.

The company, which owns 18 locations throughout North and South Carolina, coastal Georgia and Florida, purchased the assets of Southern Power.

Briggs Vice President John Van Ruitenbeek said it hired 26 former Southern Power employees and will be looking to expand its staff as it implements plans for growth in these markets.

The two locations will be led by Manager Scott McGuigan, who was previously the sales manager in Briggs’ Carolina region. Until 2000, McGuigan worked in the Atlanta market for eight years with Hertz and joined Briggs to gain sales experience.

He returns to Atlanta with a well-rounded background in the industry, Van Ruitenbeek said.

“We hope to triple sales by the end of the first year,” McGuigan said. “We will have a very large fleet of new and late model Case rental equipment. The goal is to be a ’one-stop-shop’ for the construction equipment industry.”

Plans are already under way to add facilities in the Atlanta area, the third largest market in North America.

“Years ago, Case owned that market,” Van Ruitenbeek said. “We plan to bring Case back to a prominent position there.”

Southern Power customers are already seeing benefits from the transaction, he said, with the addition of four service trucks.

“We have a commitment to product support. Anybody can sell equipment to dig a hole. The service after the deal is what makes us stand out,” Van Ruitenbeek said.

While Southern Power focused primarily on equipment sales, Briggs places an equal emphasis on the rental market and will work to strengthen that side of the industry in Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Van Ruitenbeek said the Southern Power staff is enthusiastic about the transaction, a feeling he said should be shared by its customers.

“We’re looking forward to a long-term relationship.”

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