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MJORDAN

When did Toro take over

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Could somone give me a brief history on when and why Toro took over the wheelhorse name?

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TORO bought Wheel Horse in 1986 but didnt start putting their decal/name on tractors till 1990.

Mike........

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HI--to take you back a few more years.... maybe I am off one or two but I am close. Cecil Pond was running Wheel Horse and attempted to get his children involved---they showed no interest and he decided somewhere in the late 70's/early 80's to sell the company to AMC (American Motors Corporation) and retire. AMC bought it and convinced Cecil to stay on as President or CEO or something of that caliber. Toro bought the company in '86 from AMC as they wanted a "Tractor" line to expand there business. Toro kept the "Classic" Wheel Horse 300 series going with few modifications right thru 2007. Currently the tooling etc... is stored away at TORO and none are being produced. Theres a chance that someday it will be resurected but I wouldn't hold your breath...

Tony

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Off just a little Tony... you forgot the leveraged buyout between AMC and Toro's ownership.

Wheel Horse Products sold to AMC in 1974

AMC sold to Munn Invenstment Group in 1982

Munn Investments sold to Toro in 1986.

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Interesting, was there a financial problem why wheelhorse sold?

The company was strong when it was sold. It was like "Docwheelhorse" said, no family interest. :thumbs2:

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My local Toro dealer told me he can still get a wheel horse from Toro, like a special order. Basically, you place the order and pay for it and Toro will build you one. I didn't think to ask which model -- I assume a 300 series -- but he did use the word "expensive." Like I said, I didn't ask which model or other details since I am not in the market for a new one, but I thought it was interesting that he said you could still get a Wheel Horse from Toro.

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The company several years prior to selling, went through some tuff times according to what Cecil stated in his book to Mike Martino. Cecil had to sell some assets to pay back loans and so forth. At that time Cecil was in his mid 50's and by that time had made a pile of money allready, and had a chance to make a sizeable return before the company lost any more assets and Cecil jumped at the chance while he still had it! I can understand how he feels :thumbs: I'm approaching that age and if I had the chance to retire with a lot of life ahead of me I would go in a minute! :thumbs2: I think competition was getting pretty tough at that time.

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From my fuzzy memory:

In 1989, when I went to South Bend Indiana and joined "The Horse" (that's what the WH guys referred it as), Toro had still kept their hands out of the product mix. However Toro was well entrenched in the planning phase and was getting ready to go public with hybrid dealers. 1990 was great, the WH folks and dealers were still just that but '91 was the big transition.

The question was: Were Wheel Horse dealers going to become Toro dealers or vice versa? Wheel Horse was a "Single Step" company. Which meant that Wheel Horse sold directly to their dealers and relied on their factory representatives to maintain the dealer/factor relationship. Toro on the other hand was a "Two Step

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Very interesting story Pete, that's the kind of stuff I like to read. Even though its a sad story and I hate it that it went down that way, but I can understand it, thats business :thumbs: .

:thumbs2:

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Thanks for the interesting story Pete! :thumbs2:

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Always wondered what went on then toro took over for good it was the way I

though it woud be great story from some one that worked for wheel horse and toro :thumbs2:

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From my fuzzy memory:

In 1989, when I went to South Bend Indiana and joined "The Horse" (that's what the WH guys referred it as), Toro had still kept their hands out of the product mix. However Toro was well entrenched in the planning phase and was getting ready to go public with hybrid dealers. 1990 was great, the WH folks and dealers were still just that but '91 was the big transition.

The question was: Were Wheel Horse dealers going to become Toro dealers or vice versa? Wheel Horse was a "Single Step" company. Which meant that Wheel Horse sold directly to their dealers and relied on their factory representatives to maintain the dealer/factor relationship. Toro on the other hand was a "Two Step

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Interesting read there Pete. Alot and I mean alot of stuff Toro kept secret from us WH dealers even never telling us that WH was bought by Toro. (They kept that secret from 1985 to 90 when they made the official announcement). Of course they left it up to our less-then-stellar distributor sales rep to inform us that there was no more WH. (We think Toro kept it a secret because they knew some dealers were going to flee en masse because many did not want to be affiliated with the Toro name).

We tried to get Toro to "downsize" the quality of the tractor to no avail. Yes, people were economy-at-the time driven to buy the big box store equipment because they just knew they were getting name brand quality equipment (sarcasm) for much much less then we wanted for our name brand. Now as your aware of, people have been learning that the big box store equipment is not the equipment of yesteryear and are now asking for quality equipment to re-enter the market however one quality equipment manufacturer has been taking steps to rid itself of it's dealership base while the low-end quality manufacturer has been taking steps to INCREASE it's service centers !! So if and when this quality equipment manufacturer comes back on line producing equipment it's dealership support network will have been severly desimated.

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Wouldn't be an interesting concept to have the resources and knowledge to seperate all Wheelhorse entities from Toro

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Wouldn't be an interesting concept to have the resources and knowledge to seperate all Wheelhorse entities from Toro

to bad wheelhorse isnt making anything anymore

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TORO bought Wheel Horse in 1986 but didnt start putting their decal/name on tractors till 1990.

Mike........

And thats a bitter sweet thing right there sparky, cause I want the fwd swept front end, and gear reduction thats on a 1990 and later 520, but dont want that Toro name on it! :woohoo: I figure If I ever do get the 520 of my dreams :D I'll repaint and order a set of 1980 something Decals from Terry! :ROTF: Theres more than one way to skin a cat! :D Ill call it a 520HM :D M being for MODIFIED :P

Cheers ~Duke

:D

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Maybe you should call it the 520C for China. The way everything else is going they could probably come up with something that would compete with the box stores. Our two countries are placing too much emphasis on having things manufactured overseas but then again our whole culture is not like it was in the Wheel Horse hay day. How many people today hold themselves out for hire to plow your garden or even grow a garden like years ago?

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maybe with high food costs and organics,the garden tractor will make a come back

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maybe with high food costs and organics,the garden tractor will make a come back

That observation may be more prophetic than we think!

Duff :woohoo:

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