Farm machinery retailer Norwood is in the process of consulting staff about the possibility of closing its Masterton outlet.
In response to queries from the Times-Age, a Norwood spokesperson said in a statement: “The potential closure of Masterton is subject to a proposal that staff are currently being consulted on, and the outcome has not been determined.”
The 16 staff at the Masterton site have so far declined to comment
on the situation.
In a March 1 media release, Norwood said it was proposing to close or consolidate a small number of dealerships and instead use the “hub and spoke model” that was operating at other Norwood sites.
It said the model allowed field sales and service staff to work remotely with workshop, service, and parts supply support from a dealership further afield.
Norwood was also proposing to reduce staff numbers at some dealerships and at the national support office.
Some roles may be national support office.
Some roles may be disestablished as Norwood went through “a realignment of its business strategy”; others may be vacancies that will not be filled.
Norwood chief executive Tim Myers is quoted in the release as saying the company’s staff have had an extremely unsettling start to the year.
“Our priority is to focus on their wellbeing and to support those who are directly affected.”
The company currently employs a total of 470 staff nationwide, including 16 Masterton employees.
The consultation period for Masterton staff will end on Wednesday this week and Norwood expects to announce a final decision by Tuesday, March 14.
Norwood’s nationwide consolidation process comes seven weeks after the farm machinery retailer lost distribution rights for New Holland products, which include tractors, bailers, and harvesters.
This change came into effect late last month, with CNH Industrial’s Case IH dealerships serving as caretaker dealers for New Holland machinery until a new dealer structure is finalised.
Myers noted Norwood had sold and serviced New Holland products for 17 years.
“We are disappointed to farewell a brand we have been selling for such a long time,” he said in a statement.
“We are also incredibly disappointed for our own staff and customers who have a longstanding and loyal association with the New Holland brand.”