DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- Supply and parts shortages rang out as a frustration for agriculture machinery manufacturers from booth to booth at the recent Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. However, some companies have found when they can ship equipment, there's a change in demand: Customers want higher-end finishes and premium trims.
"We kept hearing from customers they wanted more, they wanted that added extra," said Jon Rall, senior public relations coordinator for Kawasaki, which used the show to show off a new trim package for its top-of-the-line MULE PRO-FXT Ranch Edition side-by-side UTV.
That machine will now come in a "platinum" trim. The UTV can haul between three and six riders, that option toggleable with a roughly 60-second changeover. Either way, the seats come encased in leather. The package also includes a new winch on the front and a beefy steel front grill.
"The guy who owns this, he has that nice big pickup and he wants the best, and that's what ... (I'm) giving him," Rall said. "When he's taking people around on his ranch or farm, he wants something nice, something that feels good and is showing how he runs his operation."
The Kawasaki MULE PRO-FXT Ranch Edition Platinum retails for $18,999.
Rall said the industry-wide shortage of raw materials has slowed manufacturing for the company, but it hasn't dented demand.
"We do have some new models, but we're like everyone else. We need a few more parts and pieces," he said.
Polaris, too, has had to adapt to the times, and has seen a major increase in interest in its premium lines.
"We're seeing extremely high demand in our NorthStar line and in our General XP line," said Matt Kuehl, a district manager with Polaris.
The General XP Edition debuted in 2020. The NorthStar is the premier version of the Ranger side-by-side line.
"The interest in the high-end machines keeps growing," Kuehl.
The company has largely pre-sold its current inventory, and even its next looming release is expected to sell out quickly and will only be available for a short window. The 2022 NorthStar Ranger 570 SP will be in the middle of the NorthStar Ranger line size-wise when it launches this autumn. It will come fully cabbed with an in-cab heater and with a new body, a single-latch back tailgate, a deeper and larger dump bed and a winch.
Getting one, though, may require the kind of devotion typically reserved for Black Friday or the early days of new iPhone releases: camping out in line. It will only be available for sale in a limited window, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, which should be more than enough time to sell out the season's worth of new machines.
"That has not always been the case," Kuehl said of all the pre-sales.
The company is starting to tease one other big new feature: an all-electric version, the details of which will be revealed in December.
Joel Reichenberger can be reached at Joel.Reichenberger@dtn.com
Follow him on Twitter @JReichePF
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