MKM Agriculture Ltd marked the opening of its new Suffolk depot with an open day to which current and potential ATV users were invited. David Williams was there.
Since MKM Agriculture started trading in 1987 offering farm machinery repairs and servicing in Bedfordshire, the business has expanded and is now a leading ATV specialist. The Suzuki franchise was taken on in 2004, JCB Workmax UTVs in 2010, followed by Yamaha ATVs in 2013, Kawasaki in 2015 and Honda in 2016 with all brands sold and serviced from the Marston Morteyne, Beds depot.
In late 2018 MKM also took on the Honda franchise for an area further east, replacing long-established Suffolk-based dealer Fieldens (WTA) Ltd. Fieldens had represented the brand since the mid 1980s, but a change of ownership last year meant its future business was more focussed on its agricultural wheel and tyre division.
Fieldens Honda department manager Keith Collins and his son Michael, the main mechanic, were both taken on by MKM ensuring continuity of service for the new trading area. From December to March, without a Suffolk base, both worked from vans ensuring customers were looked after but investment in a new permanent base at Ixworth Thorpe from which to serve customers across the region makes it easier to ensure the high standards of service expected by Honda users are achieved.
The new fully equipped workshop has space to work on several machines at a time and provides a comfortable working environment for the team ensuring optimum efficiency.
The showroom is large and well lit allowing representative models from Honda’s range to be displayed along with attachments from manufacturers including Logic, Wessex and Enduramaxx.
“Our new Suffolk base is excellent,” commented Keith, “and with the Bedfordshire MKM team behind us we know customers will experience even better service whether they are selecting a new ATV, needing one serviced or sourcing parts.”
The open day in early May was well attended. “Many were existing Honda users who were keen to chat with us about the new facilities and view the workshop and showroom but we also welcomed many who are currently using competitor ATV brands, but who are considering moving to Honda for the legendary reliability and efficiency.”
As well as static machines displayed there was a test track in an adjacent field allowing potential users to try out Honda ATVs including the TRX250, the Foreman 500, and the Pioneer 700 UTV which was introduced two years ago. “The Pioneer is ideal for carrying passengers or larger loads,” explained Keith. “We offer 2- and 4-seat versions and both have a large rear tipping load bed which can transport up to 386kg. The performance is excellent but a big attraction is the powerful 675cc petrol engine which is smooth, quiet and uses very little fuel.”
“We have been delighted by the response from customers in this area,” added MKM managing director Anthony Deacon who runs the business with his father and company founder Mark. “Keith and Michael enjoy an excellent relationship with Honda ATV users in this area and already at shows attended we have seen how pleased customers are to see the familiar faces on our company stand. They share our philosophy that customers always come first and bringing in some additional concepts which proved successful at our Bedford main depot; we hope to further improve the customer experience.
“When considering expansion of our business to include a Suffolk branch, we took into account the success of the Honda brand in the area and with the previous dealer’s team keen to join us it became a very easy decision. The business growth will allow additional stock of ATVs, accessories and parts to be carried allowing us greater flexibility during busy periods.”
With the new Suffolk depot, MKM employs 10 people between the 2 sites, including 5 full-time technicians and 2 full-time sales specialists.
Honda area sales manager Dave Walker said the combination of an experienced and passionate sales and after-sales team along with the fantastic product portfolio creates an ideal combination. “It’s not just about the ATVs,” he explained. “It’s about having the right accessories to offer too and MKM offers a one-stop shop for all ATV customers.
“There was a high level of interest in taking on the Honda ATV franchise when the vacancy for the area came up last year and many other potential partners were considered, but MKM with the previous Fieldens sales and service team ticked all the boxes for us and our customers.”