By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Tuesday, July 2, marked the first day of operation for Titan Machinery in Imperial.
Titan Machinery (NASDAQ: TITN) purchased the Curly Olney’s, Inc., Case IH stores in both Imperial and McCook, and the stores will now be known as Titan Machinery.
David Meyer, Titan Machinery’s Chairman and CEO, said they will keep current Curly Olney’s employees and the management team in place to run the two stores.
Meyer said Titan’s philosophy is to give each store its own autonomy, with decisions being made at the local management level.
Chad Fisher of Imperial and Mark Fletcher of McCook will continue to manage the respective stores.
Meyer said the purchase of Curly Olney’s adds to their regional footprint in Nebraska. They own Case IH stores in Kearney, Lexington, Holdrege, Hastings, North Platte, Fremont and Omaha, and a New Holland store in Grand Island.
They also own Case construction equipment stores in North Platte, Lincoln and Omaha.
The addition of Curly Olney’s brings the number of U.S. dealerships for the publicly-traded company to 98 stores in nine Midwest states. States include Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
They also have 10 overseas dealerships in Romania and Bulgaria.
Titan Machinery was founded by Meyer in 1980 and grew into the company it is today. They are headquartered in West Fargo, N.D.
As part of the Titan Machinery network, the Imperial and McCook stores will have access to resources of a company known for award-winning service.
Fisher said Curly Olney’s was a solid company but noted Titan will open up more avenues and resources to support their customers and employees.
“Titan will be able to do a lot of things we couldn’t do. They are professionally managed, invest in facilities, tools, equipment and training, and have a great track record,” Fisher added.
Curly Olney’s came here in ’84
Curly Olney was originally a factory representative for International Harvester and later started the IH dealership in McCook in 1968. He expanded operations in Imperial in 1984 and built a new facility at the north end of Imperial on Hwy. 6 in 2001.
Case and International Harvester merged in 1985 to form Case IH and Curly Olney’s continued to represent that line.
Prior to his death, Olney sold the business to Fletcher, Roger Bentley and Larry Pollmann, all of McCook.
Pollman later sold his interest to Fletcher and Bentley.
Meyer traveled to Imperial last week to meet and share the Titan philosophy with the current staff.
“We are excited about expanding our footprint in southwest Nebraska with the addition of Curly Olney’s. For over 40 years, the team at Curly Olney’s has done a tremendous job serving customers in their markets, and we look forward to continuing their tradition,” he said.
He’s also pleased the current ownership group will remain on board to manage the operations.