John Deere pioneered the use of the steel plow when he fashioned one out of a saw blade in 1837. Farmers quickly saw the benefits of this invention and adopted the technology, subsequently ushering in the era of mechanized farming in the early 1900s. Now in the 21st century, wide-moat Deere (DE) is the world’s pre-eminent manufacturer of agricultural equipment.
In a global agricultural equipment marketplace, John Deere stands out as one of the world’s most valuable brands. Unlike its ag equipment competitors, Deere focuses its marketing efforts on a single brand. Most of Deere’s growth has been organic, but in 2017 the company made a key acquisition of road building equipment vendor Wirtgen, which improves its position in global infrastructure and urbanization trends.
Scott Pope, CFA does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.