Söderberg & Haak
PREMIUM BRANDS AND NEW TECHNOLOGY
Söderberg & Haak is an importer and retailer of agricultural and construction machinery. The company is Mellby Gård’s oldest wholly owned holding with 23 years in the portfolio. Although the company is going through a difficult period, the Board’s strategy is to recapture market share through aggressive investment.
Three years ago, Söderberg & Haak suffered from contract terminations for certain key brands that the company had imported to Sweden for some time. Two thirds of sales were lost and, the following year, the income statement showed a loss for the first time in the company’s 150-year history.
The situation remains challenging. The company has replaced the range with several new premium brands, including Deutz-Fahr of Germany in tractors and Komatsu of Japan in construction equipment, although establishing new brands in a market characterized by long product cycles takes time and costs money.
With aggressive investments, supported by Mellby Gård, Söderberg & Haak aims to recapture its position as one of the leading players in the segment. Söderberg & Haak is currently present in some 40 locations in Sweden, with half of the facilities being majority or wholly owned.
The company’s initiative in the premium segment and highly specialized brands represents a measure to ensure a leading edge position when new technologies such as IoT and selfdriving, autonomous vehicles transform working methods in both agriculture and the construction industry.
The segment is exposed to strong price pressure. In such an environment, offering technologically leading brands will be crucial in the long term. Söderberg & Haak will also offer the best service and expertise as customers’ industries experience the shift in technology.
During the year, Söderberg & Haak has established new and complete sales and service facilities in Falköping, Hörby and Rosersberg, and acquired a retailer in Karlstad. Although further additions to the range, adding another brand, may be necessary and the need to establish or acquire more operations cannot be ruled out, the focus for the near future will be on adapting and integrating the growing organization.
On taking over the dealerships, Deutz-Fahr and Komatsu had market shares of only a few percent in Sweden, despite being market leaders in other parts of the world. The target is for Deutz-Fahr to attain a market share of 10 percent and Komatsu 10-15 percent.
This means that about half of sales will consist of construction equipment – historically a completely new product mix for Söderberg & Haak. This realignment is why, on 1 September 2018, former MD Hans Ripa handed over his post to Jonas Jaenecke, who has extensive experience in the construction industry.
“Hans Ripa has accomplished a great deal. He has realigned the product mix and implemented an expansive reorganization to extend the retailer network. These efforts are now entering a new phase of adaptation, fine tuning the organization,” says Erik Andersson, Chairman of Söderberg & Haak.
“Söderberg & Haak is an illustrious company and Mellby Gård is a strong and long-term owner. This imbues confidence in customers, who can rest assured that the company, which has been in existence for 150 years, will endure, providing service, support and spare parts. I look forward to developing the potential of the construction operations and enhancing efficiency in the agricultural organization,” says Jonas Jaenecke.