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Bell in joint licence deal with Deere

PLANT

SOUTH African truckmaker Bell Equipment has signed a deal to build John Deere backhoes and wheeled loaders under licence in South Africa.

US plant giant Deere will build Bell-designed articulated dump trucks in North America.

Bell supplies finished trucks to Deere, which owns a 32 per cent stake in the truckmaker, but the new arrangement should reduce costs and expand Bell's manufacturing base.

Gary Bell, chief executive of Bell Equipment, said: 'This collaboration will increase manufacturing flexibility and change our cost structure.'

The firms will collaborate on purchasing components to reduce their currency exposure.