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TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations and projections relating to our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance, and business. You can identify forward-looking statements as they do not relate to historical or current facts and by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “will,” “should,” “plan,” “forecast,” “target,” “guide,” “project,” “intend,” “could,” and similar words or expressions.
All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, or cautionary statements, and other important information about forward-looking statements are disclosed under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A)–Forward-Looking Statements,” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Deere & Company’s (the Company) and its subsidiaries’ (collectively, John Deere) operations are categorized into four business segments:
The production and precision agriculture segment defines, develops, and delivers global equipment and technology solutions to unlock customer value for production-scale growers of large grains, small grains, cotton, and sugarcane. The segment’s main products include large and certain mid-size tractors, combines, cotton pickers, sugarcane harvesters and loaders, and soil preparation, seeding, application, and crop care equipment.
The small agriculture and turf segment defines, develops, and delivers global equipment and technology solutions to unlock customer value for dairy and livestock producers, high-value crop producers, and turf and utility customers. The segment’s primary products include certain mid-size and small tractors, as well as hay and forage equipment, riding and commercial lawn equipment, golf course equipment, and utility vehicles.
The construction and forestry segment defines, develops, and delivers a broad range of machines and technology solutions to unlock customer value on job sites, including earthmoving, forestry, and roadbuilding production systems. The segment’s primary products include crawler dozers and loaders, four-wheel-drive loaders, excavators, skid-steer loaders, milling machines, and log harvesters.
The products and services produced by the segments above are marketed primarily through independent retail dealer networks and major retail outlets and, as it relates to roadbuilding products in certain markets outside the U.S. and Canada, primarily through Company-owned sales and service subsidiaries.
The financial services segment primarily finances sales and leases by John Deere dealers of new and used production and precision agriculture, small agriculture and turf, and construction and forestry equipment. In addition, the financial services segment provides wholesale financing to dealers of the foregoing equipment, finances retail revolving charge accounts, and offers extended equipment warranties.
John Deere’s worldwide production and precision agriculture operations, small agriculture and turf operations, and construction and forestry operations are sometimes collectively referred to as the “equipment operations.” The financial services segment is sometimes referred to as the “financial services operations.” The production and precision agriculture and small agriculture and turf segments are sometimes collectively referred to as “agriculture and turf” or the “agriculture and turf operations.”
Additional information is presented in the discussion of business segment and geographic area results within the MD&A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The John Deere enterprise has manufactured agricultural equipment since 1837. The present Company was incorporated under the laws of Delaware in 1958.
Smart Industrial Operating Model and Leap Ambitions
In fiscal year 2020, John Deere began implementing the Smart Industrial operating model, which focuses on delivering intelligent, connected machines and applications to transform production systems in agriculture and construction, unlocking customer economic value across the lifecycle of our products in more sustainable ways. The model is based on the following three focus areas:
|1.||Production Systems. A strategic alignment of products and solutions around production systems roadmaps. Production Systems refer to the series of steps our customers take to execute different tasks, operations, and projects in order to grow|
|an agricultural product. By dedicating our business to our customers’ production systems, we expect to be better positioned to identify opportunities to improve customer profitability, productivity, and sustainability.|
|2.||Technology Stack. Investments in technology, as well as research and development, that deliver intelligent solutions to John Deere’s customers through an intuitive technology stack consisting of the hardware and devices, embedded software, connectivity, data platforms, and applications that build upon our machines to unlock economic value for our customers. The technology stack leverages the core technologies mentioned in the previous sentence across the enterprise, including digital capabilities, automation, autonomy, and alternative propulsion technologies. The stack has the potential to simplify jobs, strengthen decision-making, and better connect the steps of a production system.|
|3.||Lifecycle Solutions. The enterprise integration of John Deere’s aftermarket and support capabilities to more effectively manage customer equipment, service, and technology needs across the full lifetime of a John Deere product, and with a specific lifecycle solution focus on the ownership experience. This integrated support seeks to enhance customer value through proactive and reactive support and easy access to parts, value-add services, and performance upgrades, regardless of when a customer purchases our equipment.|
Building upon the Smart Industrial operating model, John Deere announced its Leap Ambitions framework in fiscal year 2022. The Leap Ambitions are focused goals designed to boost economic value and sustainability for our customers. The ambitions align across our customers’ production systems seeking to optimize their operations to deliver better outcomes with fewer resources. The Leap Ambitions framework has three components: (i) size the incremental market opportunity, quantifying the value that can be created; (ii) identify the key actions required to guide investment in digitalization, autonomy, automation, and alternative propulsion technologies; and (iii) define the desired financial and sustainable outcomes we hope to achieve to help investors and stakeholders understand the opportunities that can be unlocked in the future by present investments. Applying this framework, the Leap Ambitions set goals to measure the results under the Company’s operating model. Current financial and sustainability goals for the Leap Ambitions relate to workforce safety, agriculture customer outcomes, product circularity, environmental footprint, and equipment operations operating return on sales (OROS).
The Company’s internet address is http://www.deere.com. Through that address, the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports are available free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed or furnished with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission). The information contained on the Company’s website is not included in, nor incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Agriculture and Turf. Industry sales of large agricultural machinery in the U.S. and Canada are forecasted to increase 5 to 10 percent compared to 2022. Industry sales of small agricultural and turf equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be flat to down 5 percent in 2023. Industry sales of agricultural machinery in Europe are forecasted to be flat to up 5 percent, while South American industry sales of tractors and combines are forecasted to be flat to up 5 percent in 2023. Asia industry sales are forecasted to be down moderately in 2023 as the demand in India, the world’s largest tractor market by unit, stabilizes.
Construction and Forestry. On an industry basis, North American construction equipment and compact construction equipment sales are each expected to be flat to up 5 percent in 2023. Global forestry and global roadbuilding industry sales are each expected to be flat.
Financial Services. The Company’s financial services results for full-year fiscal 2023 are expected to be slightly higher in fiscal 2023 due to income earned on a higher average portfolio, partially offset by less-favorable financing spreads and lower gains on operating-lease residual values. Excluding the portfolio in Russia, a higher provision for credit losses is forecasted for 2023.
2022 Consolidated Results Compared with 2021
Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 19 percent to $52.577 billion in 2022, compared with $44.024 billion in 2021. Net sales increased 21 percent in fiscal 2022 to $47.917 billion, compared with $39.737 billion last year, due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the negative effects of currency translation.
For fiscal 2022, worldwide net income attributable to the Company was $7.131 billion, or $23.28 per share, compared with $5.963 billion, or $18.99 per share, in fiscal 2021. Net income increased due to price realization, higher shipment volumes / more favorable sales mix, and income earned on a higher average portfolio. These items were partially offset by higher production costs, higher research and development expenses and selling, administrative, and general expenses, spread compression on the financial services’ portfolio, and a higher provision for credit losses. The 2022 results included a non-cash gain on the remeasurement of the previously held equity investment in the Deere-Hitachi joint venture, partially offset by the impact of higher reserves and impairments related to
events in Russia / Ukraine. Notes 3 and 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K contain a complete list of special items impacting net income in 2022 and 2021.
The cost of sales to net sales ratio for 2022 was 73.7 percent, compared with 73.3 percent for 2021. The cost of sales to net sales ratio increased compared to 2021 mainly due to higher production costs partially offset by price realization.
Additional information on fiscal 2022 results is provided in the MD&A.
Production and Precision Agriculture
The production and precision agriculture segment defines, develops, and delivers global equipment and technology solutions to unlock customer value for production-scale growers of crops like large grains (such as corn and soy), small grains (such as wheat, oats, and barley), cotton, and sugarcane. Equipment manufactured and distributed by the segment includes large and certain mid-size tractors, combines, cotton pickers, cotton strippers, sugarcane harvesters, related harvesting front-end equipment, pull-behind scrapers, and tillage, seeding, and application equipment, including sprayers and nutrient management and soil preparation machinery.
The segment also provides integrated agricultural solutions and precision technologies across its portfolio of large equipment. John Deere has developed a unique, production system-level approach designed to improve customer profitability, productivity, and sustainability. This approach includes precise global navigation satellite systems technology, advanced connectivity and telematics, on-board sensors and computing power, automation software, digital tools, and applications and analytics that together enable seamless integration of information designed to improve customer decision making and job execution. John Deere’s advanced telematics systems remotely connect equipment owners, business managers, and dealers to equipment in the field, providing real-time alerts and information about equipment location, utilization, performance, and maintenance to improve productivity and efficiency, as well as to monitor agronomic job execution.
In addition to the John Deere brand, the production and precision agriculture segment manufactures and sells sprayers under the Hagie and Mazzotti brand names, planters and cultivators under the Monosem brand name, sprayers and planters under the PLA brand name, and carbon fiber sprayer booms under the King Agro brand name. The segment also sells sugarcane harvester aftermarket parts under the Unimil brand name. Aftermarket parts for production and precision agriculture products are also sold under the Vapormatic and A&I brand names. John Deere manufactures its production and precision agriculture equipment for sale primarily through independent retail dealer networks.
Small Agriculture and Turf
The small agriculture and turf segment defines, develops, and delivers global equipment and technology solutions to unlock customer value for dairy and livestock producers, high-value crop producers, and turf and utility customers. The segment works to leverage integrated agricultural solutions and precision technologies across its portfolio of equipment. Equipment manufactured and distributed by the segment includes: certain mid-size as well as small and utility tractors and related loaders and attachments; turf and utility equipment, including riding lawn equipment, commercial mowing equipment, golf course equipment, utility vehicles, implements for mowing, tilling, snow and debris handling, aerating, and many other residential, commercial, golf, and sports turf care applications, and other outdoor power products; and hay and forage equipment, including self-propelled forage harvesters and attachments, balers, and mowers. John Deere also purchases certain products from other manufacturers for resale.
In addition to the John Deere brand, the small agriculture and turf segment purchases and sells a variety of equipment attachments under the Frontier, Kemper, and GreenSystem brand names. Aftermarket parts for small agriculture and turf products are sold under the Vapormatic, A&I, and Sunbelt brand names. John Deere’s small agriculture and turf equipment is sold primarily through independent retail dealer networks, although the segment also builds turf products for sale by mass retailers, including The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Agriculture and Turf Operations
Operating Model. John Deere’s production and precision agriculture and small agriculture and turf segments together offer a full line of agriculture and turf equipment and related service parts. As mentioned in the description of the Smart Industrial operating model, the segments are aligned around production systems, enabling focus on delivering equipment, technology, and solutions across all the jobs customers execute during a season. Sales and marketing support for both the production and precision agriculture and small agriculture and turf segments continues to be organized around four geographic customer focus areas.
Business Environment. Sales of agricultural equipment are affected by total farm cash receipts, which reflect levels of farm commodity prices, acreage planted, crop yields, and government policies, including global trade policies, the amount and timing of government payments, and policies related to climate change. Sales are also influenced by general economic conditions, farmland prices, farmers’
debt levels and access to financing, interest and exchange rates, agricultural trends, including the production of and demand for renewable fuels, labor availability and costs, energy costs, tax policies, and other input costs associated with farming. Other key factors affecting new agricultural equipment sales are the value and level of used equipment, including tractors, harvesting equipment, self-propelled sprayers, hay and forage equipment, and seeding equipment. Weather and climatic conditions can also affect buying decisions of agricultural equipment purchasers.
Innovations in machinery and technology also influence agricultural equipment purchasing. For example, larger, more productive equipment is well accepted where farmers are striving for more efficiency in their operations. Large, cost-efficient, highly-mechanized agricultural operations account for an important share of worldwide farm output. These customers are increasingly adopting and integrating precision agricultural technologies like guidance, telematics, and data management in their operations. The large-size agricultural equipment used on such farms has been particularly important to John Deere. A large proportion of the equipment operations’ total agricultural equipment sales in the U.S. and Canada, and a large proportion of sales in many countries outside the U.S. and Canada, are comprised of tractors over 100 horsepower, self-propelled combines, self-propelled cotton pickers, self-propelled forage harvesters, self-propelled sprayers, and seeding equipment. However, small tractors are an important part of our global tractor business. Further, John Deere offers a number of harvesting solutions to support development of the mechanized harvesting of grain, oilseeds, cotton, sugarcane, and biomass.
Retail sales of lawn and garden tractors, compact utility tractors, residential and commercial mowers, utility vehicles, and golf and turf equipment are influenced by weather conditions, consumer spending patterns, and general economic conditions.
Seasonality. Seasonal patterns in retail demand for agricultural equipment can result in substantial variations in the volume and mix of products sold to retail customers during the year. Seasonal demand must be estimated in advance, and equipment must be manufactured in anticipation of such demand to achieve efficient utilization of personnel and facilities throughout the year. For certain equipment, John Deere offers early order programs, which can include discounts to retail customers that place orders well in advance of the use season. Production schedules are based, in part, on these early order programs; however, during periods of high demand, some factories may still produce after the use season. The production and precision agriculture and small agriculture and turf segments can incur substantial seasonal variations in cash flows to finance production and inventory of agricultural and turf equipment. The segments also incur costs to finance sales to dealers in advance of seasonal demand. New combine and cotton harvesting equipment has been sold under early order programs with waivers of retail finance charges available to customers who take delivery of machines during non-use seasons. In Australia, Canada, and the U.S., there are typically several used equipment trade-in transactions that take place in connection with most new agricultural equipment sales. To provide support to its dealers in these countries for carrying and ultimately selling this used inventory to retail customers, John Deere provides these dealers with pools of funds awarded as a percentage of the dealer cost for eligible new equipment sales at the time of the new equipment settlement.
Retail demand for turf and utility equipment is normally higher in the second and third fiscal quarters. John Deere has pursued a strategy of building and shipping such equipment as close to retail demand as possible. Consequently, to increase asset turnover and reduce the average level of field inventories throughout the year, production and shipment schedules of these product lines are normally proportionately higher in the second and third fiscal quarters of each year, corresponding closely to the seasonal pattern of retail sales; however, in 2022, supply constraints impacted production schedules resulting in higher than usual shipments in the fourth quarter.
Construction and Forestry
John Deere’s construction and forestry segment defines, develops, and delivers a broad range of machines and technology solutions organized along the earthmoving, forestry, and roadbuilding production systems. The segment’s primary products include a broad range of backhoe loaders, crawler dozers and loaders, four-wheel-drive loaders, excavators, motor graders, articulated dump trucks, landscape loaders, skid-steer loaders, milling machines, pavers, compactors, rollers, crushers, screens, asphalt plants, log skidders, log feller bunchers, log loaders, log forwarders, log harvesters, and a variety of attachments.
The construction and forestry segment’s products are distributed under the John Deere brand name, except for the Wirtgen Group products, which are manufactured and distributed under six brand names: Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, Benninghoven, and Ciber. Forestry attachments are distributed under the John Deere and Waratah brand names. In addition to the equipment manufactured by the construction and forestry segment, John Deere purchases certain products from other manufacturers for resale. The segment also provides advanced connectivity and telematics solutions designed to improve customer productivity, efficiency, and worksite management through access to fleet location, utilization, performance, and maintenance information.
The prevailing levels of residential, commercial, and public construction, investment in infrastructure, and the condition of the forestry products industry influence retail sales of John Deere construction, earthmoving, roadbuilding, material handling, and forestry equipment. General economic conditions, interest rate levels, the availability of credit, and certain commodity prices, such as oil and gas, and those applicable to pulp, paper, and saw logs, also influence sales.
In fiscal 2022, the Company and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (Hitachi) voluntarily terminated their joint venture. Following the termination, Hitachi continues to supply to the Company certain John Deere-branded excavators through a new supply agreement. The Company’s marketing arrangement for Hitachi-branded construction excavators and mining equipment in the Americas also ended with Hitachi assuming distribution and support of these products. John Deere dealers may continue to support their existing field populations of Hitachi-branded excavators.
The segment has a number of initiatives in the rent-to-rent, or short-term rental, market for construction, earthmoving, roadbuilding, and material handling equipment. These include specially designed rental programs for John Deere dealers and expanded cooperation with major national equipment rental companies.
John Deere owns retail forestry sales operations in Australia, Brazil, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In addition, in many markets worldwide (most significantly in Europe, India, and Australia), the Wirtgen Group sells its products primarily through Company-owned sales and service subsidiaries.
The equipment operations sell products and services into a variety of highly competitive global and regional markets. The principal competitive factors in all markets include product performance, innovation and quality, distribution, customer service, and price. In North America and many other parts of the world, John Deere’s brand recognition is a competitive factor.
The agricultural equipment industry continues to undergo significant changes and is becoming even more competitive through the emergence and expanding global capability of many competitors. The competitive environment for the agriculture and turf operations includes some global competitors, including AGCO Corporation, CLAAS KGaA mbH, CNH Industrial N.V., Kubota Tractor Corporation, Mahindra, and The Toro Company, as well as many regional and local competitors. These competitors have varying numbers of product lines competing with John Deere’s products and each has varying degrees of regional focus. Additional competition within the agricultural equipment industry has come from a variety of short-line and specialty manufacturers, as well as local regional competitors, with differing manufacturing and marketing methods. As technology increasingly enables enhanced productivity in agriculture, the industry is also attracting non-traditional competitors, including technology-focused companies and start-up ventures. John Deere’s turf equipment is sold primarily in the competitive North American, Western European, and Australian markets.
Global competitors of the construction and forestry segment include Caterpillar Inc., CNH Industrial N.V., Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Doosan Bobcat Inc., Fayat Group, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Komatsu Ltd., Kubota Tractor Corporation, Ponsse Plc, SANY Group Co., Ltd., Terex, Tigercat Industries Inc., Volvo Construction Equipment (part of Volvo Group AB), and XCMG. The construction business operates in competitive markets in North and South America as well as other global markets. The forestry and roadbuilding businesses operate globally.
In the U.S. and Canada, the equipment operations own and operate 22 factory locations and lease and operate another two locations. Of these 24 factories, nine are devoted primarily to production and precision agriculture equipment, five to small agriculture and turf equipment, four to construction and forestry equipment, one to engines, two to component remanufacturing, two to hydraulic and power train components, and one to electronic components. Outside the U.S. and Canada, the equipment operations own or lease and operate 47 factories, including: agriculture and turf equipment factories in Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain; earthmoving equipment factories in Brazil and China; engine, engine/power train, battery, hydraulic, or electronic component factories in Argentina, Austria, China, France, India, and Mexico; roadbuilding equipment factories in Brazil, China, Germany, and India; and forestry equipment factories in Canada, Finland, and New Zealand. The engine factories referred to above manufacture non-road, heavy duty diesel engines. The equipment operations also have financial interests in other manufacturing organizations, which include ventures that manufacture transaxles and transmissions used in certain agriculture and turf products.
John Deere’s facilities are well maintained, in good operating condition, and suitable for their present purposes. These facilities, together with both short-term and long-term planned capital expenditures, are expected to meet John Deere’s manufacturing needs in the foreseeable future.
Existing capacity is sufficient to satisfy John Deere’s current expectations for retail market demand. The equipment operations’ manufacturing strategy involves the implementation of appropriate levels of technology and automation to allow manufacturing processes to remain profitable at varying production levels. Operations are also designed to be flexible enough to accommodate the product design changes required to meet market conditions and changing customer requirements. Common manufacturing facilities and techniques are employed in the production of components for production and precision agriculture equipment, small agriculture and turf equipment, and construction and forestry equipment.
In order to utilize manufacturing facilities and technology more effectively, the equipment operations pursue continuous improvements in manufacturing processes. These include steps to streamline manufacturing processes and enhance responsiveness to customers. John Deere’s flexible assembly lines can accommodate a wider product mix and deliver products in line with dealer and customer demand. Additionally, considerable effort is being directed to manufacturing cost reduction through process improvement and improvements in product design, advanced manufacturing technology, and supply management and logistics, as well as compensation incentives related to productivity and organizational structure. John Deere has experienced volatility in the prices of many raw materials and supply chain challenges during the past fiscal year, which is expected to continue into fiscal year 2023. The increase in cost for raw materials and supply chain challenges have resulted in production inefficiencies causing increased overhead costs and reduced profit margins. John Deere has responded to these pressures by implementing the cost-reduction measures described above, increasing prices, and increasing the levels of inventory in an attempt to meet production demands. Significant cost increases could have an adverse effect on the Company’s operating results, although the effects to date have not been material. The equipment operations also pursue external sales of selected parts and components that can be manufactured and supplied to third parties on a competitive basis, including engines, power train components, and electronic components.
Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets
John Deere owns a significant number of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and licenses related to John Deere products and services and expects the number to grow as John Deere continues to pursue technological innovations. John Deere furthers its competitive position by filing patent applications in the U.S. and internationally to protect technology and improvements considered important to the business. John Deere believes that, in the aggregate, the rights under these patents and licenses are generally important to its operations and competitive position, but does not regard any of its businesses as being dependent upon any single patent or group of patents. However, certain John Deere trademarks, which contribute to John Deere’s identity and the recognition of its products and services, including but not limited to the “John Deere” mark, the leaping deer logo, the “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” slogan, the prefix “JD” associated with many products, and the green and yellow color combination, are an integral part of John Deere’s business, and their loss could have a material adverse effect on the Company. For additional information see Risk Factors–The potential loss of John Deere intellectual property through trade secret theft, infringement of patents, trademark, counterfeitings, or other loss of rights to exclusive use of John Deere intellectual property could have a material adverse effect on the Company. Infringement of the intellectual property rights of others by John Deere could also have a material adverse effect on the Company.
In the U.S. and Canada, the equipment operations distribute equipment and service parts through the following facilities: two agriculture and turf equipment sales and administration offices located in Olathe, Kansas and Cary, North Carolina and one sales branch located in Grimsby, Ontario; one construction, earthmoving, material handling, and forestry equipment sales and administration office located in Moline, Illinois and one sales branch located in Grimsby, Ontario; and one roadbuilding equipment sales, service, and administration office located in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, the equipment operations operate two centralized parts distribution warehouses in coordination with nine regional parts depots and distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada.
Through these U.S. and Canadian facilities, John Deere markets products to approximately 2,007 independent dealer locations. Of these, approximately 1,552 sell agricultural equipment, while approximately 455 sell construction, earthmoving, material handling, roadbuilding, and/or forestry equipment. In addition, roadbuilding equipment is sold at approximately 114 roadbuilding-only locations that may carry products that compete with John Deere’s construction, earthmoving, material handling, and/or forestry equipment. Turf equipment is sold at most John Deere agricultural equipment locations, a few construction, earthmoving, material handling, roadbuilding, and/or forestry equipment locations, and about 321 turf-only locations, many of which also sell dissimilar lines of non-John Deere products. In addition, certain lawn and garden product lines are sold through The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Outside the U.S. and Canada, John Deere agriculture and turf equipment is sold to distributors and dealers for resale in over 100 countries. Sales and administrative offices are located in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Turf equipment sales outside the U.S. and Canada occur primarily in Western Europe and Australia. Construction, earthmoving, material handling, and forestry equipment is sold to distributors and dealers primarily by sales offices located in Australia, Brazil, Finland, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Some of these dealers are independently owned while John Deere owns others. Roadbuilding equipment is sold both directly to retail customers as well as to independent distributors and dealers for resale. As of November 1, 2022, the Company’s U.S. senior management decided not to renew dealer agreements with dealers located in Russia, but the Company continues to distribute select parts to existing Russia dealers from the Russian distribution center. The Wirtgen Group operates company-owned sales and service subsidiaries in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
The equipment operations operate centralized parts distribution warehouses in Brazil, Germany, India, and Russia in coordination with regional parts depots and distribution centers in Argentina, Australia, China, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
John Deere markets engines, power trains, and electronic components worldwide through select sales branches or directly to regional and global original equipment manufacturers and independently owned engine distributors.
John Deere purchases raw materials and manufactured components and replacement parts for its equipment, engines, and other products from leading suppliers both domestically and internationally. These materials and components include a variety of steel products, metal castings, forgings, plastics, hydraulics, electronics, and ready-to-assemble components made to certain specifications. John Deere also purchases various goods and services used for production, logistics, offices, and research and development. John Deere develops and maintains sourcing strategies for all its purchased materials and emphasizes long-term supplier relationships at the core of these strategies. John Deere uses a variety of agreements with suppliers intended to drive innovation, ensure availability and delivery of industry-leading quality raw materials and components, manage costs on a globally competitive basis, protect John Deere’s intellectual property, and minimize other supply-related risks. John Deere actively monitors supply chain risks to minimize the likelihood of business disruptions caused by the supply base, including supplier financial viability, capacity, business continuity, labor availability, quality, delivery, cybersecurity, weather-related events, and natural disasters. John Deere has implemented mitigation efforts to minimize the impact of potential and actual supply chain disruptions on its customers. Examples include working with the supply base to prioritize allocations to improve material availability, multi-sourcing selected parts and materials, providing resources to suppliers to address constraints, entering long term contracts for some critical components, and using alternative freight carriers to expedite delivery. In fiscal 2022, some of John Deere’s operations were affected by certain material or component shortages related to on-going supply chain challenges, including those caused by industry capacity constraints, material availability, global logistics delays, geopolitical volatility, the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID), and constraints from, among other things, ocean and road shipping capacity constraints, and labor availability. While supply chain pressures are expected to persist into 2023, the Company is engaged with its suppliers to secure the materials and services that our customers need to deliver essential food and infrastructure more profitably and sustainably.
The dollar amount of backlog orders at October 30, 2022 believed to be firm was approximately $9.7 billion for the production and precision agriculture segment and $4.6 billion for the small agriculture and turf segment, compared with $9.6 billion and $5.2 billion, respectively, at October 31, 2021. The agriculture and turf backlog are generally highest in the second and third quarters due to seasonal buying trends in these industries. The dollar amount of backlog orders for the construction and forestry segment believed to be firm was approximately $6.5 billion at October 30, 2022, compared with $6.7 billion at October 31, 2021. Backlog orders for the equipment operations include all orders deemed to be firm as of the referenced date.
Trade Accounts and Notes Receivable
Trade accounts and notes receivable arise primarily from sales of goods to independent dealers. Most trade receivables originated by the equipment operations are purchased by the financial services operations. The equipment operations compensate the financial services operations at approximate market rates of interest for these receivables. Additional information appears in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
U.S. and Canada. The financial services segment primarily provides and administers financing for retail purchases from John Deere dealers of new equipment manufactured by John Deere’s production and precision agriculture, small agriculture and turf, construction and forestry segments, and used equipment taken in trade for this equipment.
The Company and John Deere Construction & Forestry Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company) are referred to as the “sales companies.” John Deere Capital Corporation (Capital Corporation), a U.S. financial services subsidiary, generally purchases retail installment sales and loan contracts (retail notes) from the sales companies. These retail notes are acquired by the sales companies through John Deere retail dealers in the U.S. John Deere Financial Inc., a Canadian financial services subsidiary, purchases and finances retail notes acquired by John Deere Canada ULC, John Deere’s Canadian sales company. The terms of retail notes and the basis on which the financial services operations acquire retail notes from the sales companies are governed by agreements with the sales companies. The financial services segment also finances and services revolving charge accounts, in most cases acquired from and offered through merchants in the agriculture and turf and construction and forestry markets (revolving charge accounts). Additionally, the financial services operations provide wholesale financing to dealers of John Deere agriculture and turf equipment and construction and forestry equipment (wholesale notes), primarily to finance inventories of equipment for those dealers. The various financing options offered by the financial services operations are designed to enhance sales of John Deere products and generate financing
income for the financial services operations. In the U.S. and Canada, certain subsidiaries included in the financial services segment offer extended equipment warranties.
Retail notes acquired by the sales companies are immediately sold to the financial services operations. The equipment operations are the financial services operations’ major source of business, although many retail purchasers of John Deere products finance their purchases outside the John Deere organization through a variety of sources, including commercial banks and finance and leasing companies.
The financial services operations offer retail leases to equipment users in the U.S. A small number of leases are executed with units of local governments. Leases are usually written for periods ranging from less than one year to seven years, and typically contain an option permitting the customer to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease term. Retail leases are also offered in a generally similar manner to customers in Canada through John Deere Financial Inc. and John Deere Canada ULC.
The financial services operations’ terms for financing equipment retail sales (other than smaller items financed with unsecured revolving charge accounts) generally provide for retention of a security interest in the equipment financed. The financial services operations’ guidelines for minimum down payments, which vary with the types of equipment financed and repayment provisions, generally range from 0 percent to 20 percent of the purchase price. Finance charges are sometimes waived for specified periods or reduced on certain John Deere products sold or leased in advance of the season of use or in other sales promotions. The financial services operations generally receive compensation from the sales companies at approximate market interest rates for periods during which finance charges are waived or reduced on the retail notes or leases. The cost is accounted for as a deduction in arriving at net sales by the equipment operations.
The Company has an agreement with Capital Corporation to make payments to Capital Corporation such that its consolidated ratio of earnings to fixed charges is not less than 1.05 to 1 for any fiscal quarter. The Company has also committed to continuing to own, directly or through one or more wholly-owned subsidiaries, at least 51 percent of the voting shares of capital stock of Capital Corporation and to maintain Capital Corporation’s consolidated tangible net worth at not less than $50 million. The Company’s obligations to make payments to Capital Corporation under the agreement are independent of whether Capital Corporation is in default on its indebtedness, obligations, or other liabilities. Further, the Company’s obligations under the agreement are not measured by the amount of Capital Corporation’s indebtedness, obligations, or other liabilities. The Company’s obligations to make payments under this agreement are expressly stated not to be a guaranty of any specific indebtedness, obligation, or liability of Capital Corporation and are enforceable only by or in the name of Capital Corporation. As of October 30, 2022, the Company was in compliance with all of its obligations, and no payments were required under this agreement in fiscal 2022 or 2021. At October 30, 2022, the Company indirectly owned 100 percent of the voting shares of Capital Corporation’s capital stock and Capital Corporation’s consolidated tangible net worth was $4,803 million.
Outside the U.S. and Canada. The financial services operations also offer financing, primarily for John Deere products, in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and in several other countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Shipments to Russia were suspended on February 24, 2022 and no new retail financing has been offered. In certain markets, financing is offered through cooperation agreements or joint ventures with other financial institutions. The way the financial services operations offer financing in these countries is affected by a variety of country-specific laws, regulations, and customs, including those governing property rights and debtor obligations, which are subject to change and which may introduce greater risk to the financial services operations.
The financial services operations also offer to select customers and dealers credit enhanced international export financing primarily for the purchase of John Deere products.
Additional information on the financial services operations is provided in the MD&A section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
John Deere is subject to a wide variety of local, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations in the U.S., as well as the environmental laws and regulations of other countries in which John Deere conducts business. John Deere strives to comply with applicable laws and regulations; however, failure to comply with these regulations could lead to fines and other penalties. John Deere is involved in the evaluation and clean-up of a limited number of sites but does not expect that these matters or other expenses or liabilities John Deere may incur in connection with any noncompliance with environmental laws or regulations or the cleanup of any additional properties will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations, cash flows, or competitive position. With respect to properties and businesses that have been or will be acquired, John Deere conducts due diligence into potential exposure to environmental liabilities, but cannot be certain that it has identified or will identify all adverse environmental conditions. Compliance with these laws and regulations adds to the cost of John Deere’s production operations. The Company does not expect to incur material capital expenditures for environmental control facilities during fiscal 2023. In addition to
ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, John Deere aims to reduce its environmental footprint through the Leap Ambitions framework and seeks opportunities to reduce the environmental impact on the communities where it operates.
The European Union’s Stage V Regulation, parts of which became effective in 2019 and 2020, applies to non-road diesel engines across various power categories for machines used in construction, agriculture, material handling, industrial use, and generator applications. Governmental agencies throughout the world are enacting similar laws to reduce off-road engine emissions, including India’s Bharat Stage IV Regulation that became effective in 2021. These standards continue the reduction of particulate and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. John Deere has achieved and plans to continue to achieve compliance with these regulations through significant investments in the development of new engine technologies and after-treatment systems. Compliance with emissions regulations has added and will continue to add to the cost of John Deere’s products.
Governments are also implementing laws regulating products across their life cycles, including raw material sourcing and the storage, distribution, sale, use, and disposal of products at their end-of-life. These laws and regulations include developing less hazardous chemical substances and products, right-to-know, restriction of hazardous substances, and product take-back laws.
John Deere is subject to a wide variety of local, state, and federal laws and regulations in the countries where it conducts business. Compliance with these laws and regulations often requires the dedication of time and effort of employees, as well as financial resources. In fiscal 2022, compliance with the regulations applicable to John Deere did not have a material effect on John Deere’s capital expenditures, earnings, or competitive position. At this time, the Company does not expect to incur material capital expenditures related to compliance with regulations during fiscal year 2023. Additional information about the impact of government regulations on John Deere’s business is included in Item 1A, “Risk Factors – Strategic Risks” and “Legal and Compliance Risks.”
John Deere’s employees, its human capital, are guided by the Company’s higher purpose: We run so life can leap forward. Employees are further guided by the Company’s Code of Business Conduct (Code), which helps them to uphold and strengthen the standards of honor and integrity that have defined John Deere since its founding. Our world and business may change, but our core values—integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation—remain constant in everything we do. Our values have shaped and guided our vision since 1837.
At October 30, 2022, John Deere had approximately 82,200 employees, including approximately 32,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. John Deere also retains consultants, independent contractors, and temporary and part-time workers. Unions are certified as bargaining agents for approximately 81 percent of John Deere’s U.S. production and maintenance employees. Approximately 11,500 of John Deere’s active U.S. production and maintenance workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement with the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), with an expiration date of November 1, 2027. A small number of U.S. production employees are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). Collective bargaining agreements covering John Deere’s employees in the U.S. expire between 2024 and 2027. Unions also represent the majority of employees at John Deere manufacturing facilities outside the U.S.
There is no guarantee that John Deere will be able to renew collective bargaining agreements or whether such agreements will be on terms satisfactory to John Deere. For further discussion, see “Risk Factors- Disputes with labor unions have adversely affected John Deere’s ability to operate its facilities as well as its financial results.”
Code of Business Conduct
John Deere is committed to conducting business in accordance with the highest ethical standards. This means how we conduct ourselves and our global work is more than just a matter of policy and law; it reflects our core values. The Code provides specific guidance to all John Deere employees, outlining how they can and must uphold and strengthen the integrity that has defined John Deere since its founding. The Company’s policy requires all employees to complete Code training and, where permitted by law, also requires the employees certify each year that they will comply with the Code. The Company maintains a global compliance hotline to allow for concerns to be brought forward.
Health and Safety
John Deere strives to achieve safety excellence through increased focus on leading indicators, risk reduction, health and safety management systems, and prevention. John Deere utilizes a safety balanced scorecard, which includes leading and lagging indicators, and is designed to enable continuous measurement of safety performance and drive continuous improvement. Leading indicators
include injury/illness corrective action closure rates, near-miss corrective action closure rates, and risk reduction from safety and ergonomic risk assessment projects. Lagging indicators include total recordable incident rate, ergonomic recordable case rate, and near-miss rate. Leading indicators are tracked by most of John Deere’s manufacturing facilities and internally reported. John Deere reported a total recordable incident rate of 2.18 and a lost time frequency rate of .67 in fiscal 2022.
A key area of focus is ergonomic risk, which the Company aims to address through Prevention Through Design (PTD). As part of PTD, the Company strives to incorporate risk reduction goals in new product strategies. Defined processes and tools are utilized to identify risk early in the design processes. In addition, certain John Deere units assess themselves against a Company-developed Ergonomic Scorecard, which contains important elements of a fully functioning ergonomic program.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
John Deere believes that a diverse workforce is essential to its long-term success and strives to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture where all voices are heard, valued, and included. John Deere embraces employees’ differences in race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital or partnership status, family status, citizenship, genetic information, national origin, ancestry, geographic background, military or veteran status, disability (mental or physical), and any other characteristics that make our employees unique.
John Deere’s global DEI strategy focuses on embedding DEI into world-wide business operations and people processes. The Company believes that sustainable DEI requires rigor and long-term investment to realize lasting benefits to the business. The Company’s DEI strategic framework consists of four DEI pillars that reflect our areas of focus—people, leadership, business strategy, and community.
John Deere’s leadership team works to set a consistent and transparent tone on DEI issues and strategy. John Deere creates spaces for open conversations and learning through its DEI speaker series, micro-learnings, and online forum panel series, ‘Let’s Talk Series’. Additionally, John Deere works to provide immersive learning experiences to improve workplace equity and inclusion. DEI expectations are integrated into John Deere’s global performance management program. To help managers with development and team building, John Deere measures inclusiveness as part of its periodic internal employee experience survey.
John Deere proudly partners with several professional organizations to support our diversity recruitment strategy, including Anita B.org. – a global organization for women in technology, Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., the National Black MBA Association, Inc., the National Society of Black Engineers, Prospanica – the Association of Hispanic Professionals, the Society of Women Engineers, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
Our 13 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are Company sponsored organizations run by employees, are a key driver of inclusion at John Deere and a critical component of our global DEI strategy. ERGs build organization-wide networks that help enable employees with shared interests to come together and are open to all employees. The global chapters work with local teams to support our efforts to attract, retain, and develop the best talent. This year, we expanded our ERGs to the U.S. production workforce to help ensure all our people experience opportunities to connect and benefit from the support offered by these networks.
Compensation & Benefits
John Deere’s total rewards are intended to be competitive, meet the varied needs of our global workforce, and reinforce our values. John Deere is committed to providing comprehensive and competitive pay and benefits to its employees. John Deere has invested, and continues to invest, in its employees through growth and development and well-being initiatives.
John Deere’s work environment is designed to promote innovation and well-being and reward performance. John Deere’s total rewards for employees include a variety of components that aim to support sustainable employment and the ability to build a strong financial future, including competitive market-based pay and comprehensive benefits. In addition to earning base pay, eligible employees are compensated for their contributions to the Company’s goals with both short and long-term cash incentives and long-term equity-based incentives.
Eligible full-time employees in the U.S. have access to medical, dental, and vision plans; savings and retirement plans; parental leave and paid time off; and other resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides mental health and wellness services. John Deere also offers a variety of working arrangements to eligible employees, including flexible schedules, telecommuting, and job sharing, to help employees manage home and work-life situations. Programs and benefits differ internationally for a variety of reasons, such as local legal requirements, market practices, and negotiations with works councils, trade unions, and other employee representative bodies.
Expansion of Information Technology Locations
In addition to the flexible schedules mentioned above, the Company recognizes that having office locations in areas with diverse pools of technology talent is important for recruitment and talent engagement. The Company expanded its Information Technology (IT) and technology footprint in the United States in 2022 by opening a new office in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago and an innovation and collaboration hub in Austin, Texas. The Company also opened an office in Bangalore, India in 2020, which serves as a core IT hub for the Company.
Training and Development
John Deere provides training and development opportunities for employees at all stages of their careers to empower them to reach their full potential. Employees are critical to the long-term success of John Deere’s business. We encourage employees to identify the paths that can build the skills, experience, knowledge, and competencies needed for career advancement. John Deere supports employees by creating purpose-driven work opportunities, comprehensive performance reviews and development plans, mentoring opportunities, and professional and personal development opportunities.
John Deere encourages employees to provide feedback across the enterprise through our internal voluntary employee experience survey, ad-hoc “pulse” surveys, and new-hire and exit surveys. Reports from these surveys help equip John Deere to address needs across the employee lifecycle to improve the overall experience and engagement of our workforce.
In terms of learning and development, John Deere continues to invest in technology and content providers that strengthen our commitment to preparing a future-ready workforce. We offer training, upskilling, and development opportunities at all stages of an employee’s career, empowering them to reach their full potential.
Each John Deere full time salaried employee completed an average of approximately 20.2 training hours globally in fiscal 2022. John Deere’s training programs, which are tailored to different geographic regions and job functions, include among other topics technical operation of equipment, equipment assembly, relationships with customers and dealers, John Deere’s culture and values, compliance with the Code, compliance with anti-bribery/corruption laws and policies, compliance with management of private data and cybersecurity, conflicts of interest, discrimination and workplace harassment policies, sexual harassment policies, and leadership development.
John Deere honors human rights and respects the individual dignity of all persons globally. John Deere’s commitment to human rights requires that we understand and carry out our responsibilities consistent with Company values and practices. John Deere strives to ensure that human rights are upheld for our employees and all workers in our supply chain. Our commitment to human rights is defined in the Code, our Supplier Code of Conduct, our Dealer Code of Conduct, related policies and procedures, and “Support of Human Rights in our Business Practice,” each of which is available on the Company’s website under “Governance.” These documents establish clear guidelines for our employees, suppliers, and dealers while helping to inform our business decisions. We do not tolerate human rights abuses, such as forced labor, unlawful child labor, or human trafficking. We are proud to contribute to the places where we work and support the residents of these places.
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Following are the names and ages of the executive officers of the Company, their positions with the Company, and summaries of their backgrounds and business experiences. All executive officers are elected or appointed by the Board of Directors and hold office until the meeting of the Board of Directors following the annual meeting of stockholders each year.
Name, age and office (at December 7, 2022), and year elected to office
Principal occupation during last
John C. May
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
2019 Chief Executive Officer and President; 2019 President and Chief Operating Officer; 2018 – 2019 President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Global Harvesting and Turf Platforms, Ag Solutions Americas and Australia; 2012 – 2018 President, Agricultural Solutions & Chief Information Officer
Joshua A. Jepsen
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
2022 Deputy Financial Officer; 2018 – 2022 Director, Investor Relations; 2015 – 2018 Manager, Investor Communications
Ryan D. Campbell
President, Worldwide Construction & Forestry and Power Systems
2019 – 2022 Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; 2018 Deputy Financial Officer; 2017 Vice President and Comptroller
Marc A. Howze
Senior Advisor, Office of the Chairman
2020 – 2022 Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer; 2016 – 2020 Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Mary K.W. Jones
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Worldwide Public Affairs
2013 – 2019 Senior Vice President and General Counsel
President, John Deere Financial, and Chief Information Officer
2022 President, John Deere Financial and Senior Vice President, Global Information Technology and Chief Financial Officer; 2019-2022 President, John Deere Financial, and Chief Information Officer; 2018 – 2019 Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer; 2012 – 2018 Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Senior Vice President & Chief People Officer
2019 – 2022 Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, BorgWarner Inc.; 2018 – 2019 Global Vice President Human Resources, BorgWarner, Inc.- Morse Systems; 2016 – 2018 Vice President Human Resources ASEAN, Ford Motor Company
Cory J. Reed
President, Worldwide Agriculture and Turf Division, Production and Precision Ag, Sales and Marketing Regions of the Americas and Australia
2019 – 2020 President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Americas and Australia, Global Harvesting and Turf Platforms, Agricultural Solutions; 2016 – 2019 President, John Deere Financial
Justin R. Rose
President, Lifecycle Solutions, Customer Support & Supply Management
2020 – 2022 Senior Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG); 2002 – 2020 various roles of increasing responsibility from Associate to Partner and Managing Director
Markwart von Pentz
President, Worldwide Agriculture and Turf Division, Small Ag and Turf, Sales and Marketing Regions of Europe, CIS, Asia, and Africa
2019 – 2020 President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division Tractor and Hay & Forage, Regions 1 & 2, and Advanced Engineering; 2018 – 2019 President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division Global Tractor and Hay & Forage Platforms, Europe, CIS, Asia, Africa; 2012 – 2018 President, Agriculture & Turf Division-Europe, Asia, Africa, and Global Tractor Platform
The following risks are considered material to John Deere’s business based upon current knowledge, information, and assumptions. This discussion of risk factors should be considered closely in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, including the risks and uncertainties described in the Forward-Looking Statements, and the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. These risk factors and other forward-looking statements relate to future events, expectations, trends, and operating periods, and involve certain factors that are subject to change and important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Some of these risks and uncertainties could affect particular lines of business, while others could affect all the Company’s businesses. Although the risks are organized by headings and each risk is discussed separately, many are interrelated. The risks described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the “Forward-Looking Statements” in this report are not the only risks faced by the Company.
International, national, and regional trade laws, regulations, and policies (particularly those related to or restricting global trade) and government farm programs and policies could significantly impair John Deere’s profitability and growth prospects.
International, national, and regional laws, regulations, and policies directly or indirectly related to or restricting the import and export of John Deere’s products, services, and technology, or those of our customers, including protectionist policies in particular jurisdictions, or for the benefit of favored industries or sectors, could harm John Deere’s global business. John Deere’s profitability and growth prospects are tied directly to the global marketplace. Restricted access to global markets impairs John Deere’s ability to export goods and services from its various manufacturing locations around the world and limits the ability to access raw materials and high-quality parts and components at competitive prices on a timely basis. Trade restrictions, including withdrawal from or modification of existing trade agreements, negotiation of new trade agreements, non-tariff trade barriers, local content requirements, and imposition of new or retaliatory tariffs against certain countries or covering certain products, including developments in U.S.-China trade relations and sanctions against Russia, have limited, and could continue to limit, John Deere’s ability to capitalize on current and future growth opportunities in international markets and impair John Deere’s ability to expand the business. These trade restrictions, and changes in, or uncertainty surrounding, global trade policies, may affect John Deere’s competitive position. Policies impacting exchange rates and commodity prices or those limiting the export or import of commodities could have a material adverse effect on the international flow of agricultural and other commodities that may result in a corresponding negative effect on the demand for agricultural and forestry equipment in many areas of the world. John Deere’s agricultural equipment sales could be especially harmed by such policies because farm income strongly influences sales of agricultural equipment around the world. Furthermore, trade restrictions could impede those in developing countries from achieving a higher standard of living, which could negatively impact John Deere’s future growth opportunities arising from increasing global demand for food, fuel, and infrastructure. Additionally, changes in government farm programs and policies, including direct payment and other subsidies, can significantly influence demand for agricultural equipment as well as create unequal competition for multinational companies relative to domestic companies.
Greater political, economic, and social uncertainty and the evolving globalization of businesses could significantly change the dynamics of John Deere’s competition, customer base, and product offerings and impact John Deere’s growth opportunities globally.
John Deere’s efforts to grow its businesses depend in part upon access to additional geographic markets, including, but not limited to, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, and South Africa, and its success in developing market share and operating profitably in such markets. In some cases, these countries have greater political and economic volatility, greater vulnerability to infrastructure and labor disruptions, and differing local customer product preferences and requirements than John Deere’s other markets. Having business operations in various regions and countries exposes John Deere to multiple and potentially conflicting business practices, and legal and regulatory requirements that are subject to change and are often complex and difficult to navigate, including those related to tariffs and trade regulations, investments, property ownership rights, taxation, repatriation of earnings, and advanced technologies. Expanding business operations globally also increases exposure to currency fluctuations, which can materially affect the Company’s financial results. While John Deere maintains a positive corporate image and its brands are widely recognized and valued in its traditional markets, the brands are less known in some emerging markets, which could impede John Deere’s efforts to successfully compete in these markets.
In addition, changing U.S. export controls and sanctions on China, as well as other restrictions affecting transactions involving China and Chinese parties, could affect John Deere’s ability to collect receivables, provide aftermarket warranty support for John Deere equipment, sell products, and otherwise impact John Deere’s reputation and business.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine could adversely impact our business and financial results.
On February 24, 2022, John Deere suspended shipments of machines and service parts to Russia and Belarus. After assessing the impact of the Russia and Ukraine conflict on our operations within Russia, our senior management in the U.S. decided to initiate a
voluntary employee-separation program, which reduced overall headcount in Russia. We may further reduce or discontinue operations in Russia depending on the continued evolution of the conflict, monetary, currency or payment controls, restrictions on access to financial institutions, supply and transportation challenges, sanctions and export controls and counter-sanctions, or other circumstances and considerations. Our U.S. senior management continues to closely monitor all risks to John Deere operations in the region. The broader consequences of the Russia and Ukraine conflict such as, embargoes, regional instability, geopolitical shift, access to natural gas, higher energy prices, potential retaliatory action by the Russian government, including nationalization of foreign businesses, increased tensions between the U.S. and countries in which we operate, and the extent of the conflict’s effect on the global economy, cannot be predicted, including the extent to which the conflict may heighten other risks disclosed herein. Ultimately, these or other factors could result in further loss or write-downs of other operating assets and working capital.
Negative economic conditions and outlook can materially weaken demand for John Deere’s equipment and services, limit access to funding, and result in higher funding costs.
The demand for John Deere’s products and services can be significantly reduced in an economic environment characterized by high unemployment, rising interest rates, cautious consumer spending, changes in consumer practices due to a possible recession, lower corporate earnings, and lower business investment. Negative or uncertain economic conditions that cause John Deere’s customers to lack confidence in the general economic outlook can significantly reduce their likelihood of purchasing John Deere’s equipment. The COVID pandemic, geopolitical instability, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and other global events have significantly increased economic and demand uncertainty. Some of the results of these events include supply chain challenges, inflation, high interest rates, foreign currency exchange volatility, and volatility in global capital markets. Supply chain challenges, including delays caused by shortages of raw materials, shipping containers and labor, have increased production costs and reduced our profit margins. Additionally, the cost of raw materials used in John Deere’s products and the cost of freight have increased due to heightened inflation. These adverse economic events have and may continue to adversely affect John Deere’s operations.
Sustained negative economic conditions and outlook also affect housing starts, energy prices and demand, and other construction, which dampens demand for certain construction equipment. John Deere’s turf operations and its construction and forestry segments are dependent on construction activity and have also been affected by recent adverse economic conditions. In fiscal 2022, supply constraints, shortage of turf inventory, and softening customer demand have affected our production and sales of consumer products within these segments. Decreases in construction activity and housing starts could have a material adverse effect on John Deere’s results of operations.
If negative economic conditions affect the overall farm economy, there could be a similar effect on John Deere’s agricultural equipment sales. In addition, uncertain or negative outlook with respect to pervasive U.S. fiscal issues as well as general economic conditions and outlook, such as market volatility and continued interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, have caused and could continue to cause significant changes in market liquidity conditions. Such changes could impact access to funding and associated funding costs, which could reduce the Company’s earnings and cash flows. Additionally, the Company’s investment management activities could be adversely affected by changes in the equity and bond markets, including the recent volatility of the United Kingdom’s bond market, which would negatively affect earnings.
Changing worldwide demand for food and different forms of bio-energy could affect the price of farm commodities and consequently the demand for certain John Deere equipment and could also result in higher research and development costs related to changing machine fuel requirements.
Changing worldwide demand for farm outputs to meet the world’s growing food and bio-energy demands, driven in part by government policies, including those related to climate change, and a growing world population, are likely to result in fluctuating agricultural commodity prices, which directly affect sales of agricultural equipment. Lower agricultural commodity prices directly affect farm incomes, which could negatively affect sales of agricultural equipment and result in higher credit losses. While higher commodity prices benefit John Deere’s crop-producing agricultural equipment customers, higher commodity prices also could result in greater feed costs for livestock and poultry producers, which in turn may result in lower levels of equipment purchased by these customers. Furthermore, changing bio-energy demands may cause farmers to change the types or quantities of the crops they raise, with corresponding changes in equipment demands. Finally, changes in governmental policies regulating bio-fuel utilization could affect commodity demand and commodity prices, demand for John Deere’s diesel-fueled equipment, and result in higher research and development costs related to equipment fuel standards.
John Deere may not realize the anticipated benefits of its Smart Industrial operating model and Leap Ambitions.
John Deere’s failure to realize the anticipated benefits of its Smart Industrial operating model and related business strategies in production systems, precision technologies, and aftermarket support could adversely affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. Several factors could impact John Deere’s ability to successfully execute the Smart Industrial operating model, including, among other things, failure to accurately assess market opportunity and the technology required to address such
opportunity; failure to develop and introduce new technologies or lack of adoption of such technologies by John Deere’s customers; and failure to holistically execute lifecycle solutions. In addition, if the Company is unable to optimize its capital allocation in connection with the operating model, it may not be able to realize the full benefits, which could have an adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition or results of operations.
Similarly, John Deere may not realize the anticipated benefits of its Leap Ambitions and related goals in the expected timeline, or at all. As part of its Leap Ambitions framework, John Deere adopted various goals that it expects to achieve by 2026 or 2030, as applicable. John Deere may not be able to achieve these goals for a number of reasons, some of which may be out of its control. For example, John Deere’s estimates and assumptions related to efficiency of our products and the adoption of precision technology may not be accurate; certain materials, such as quality battery cells, may become unavailable or too costly; or infrastructure required to achieve our goals, such as sufficient charging stations, may become too costly or may not occur on the expected timeline. The actual or perceived failure to achieve our Leap Ambitions could negatively impact our ability to execute the Smart Industrial operating model, and could harm our reputation and our business.
John Deere may not realize all anticipated benefits of acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestitures, or these benefits may take longer to realize than expected.
From time to time, John Deere makes strategic acquisitions and divestitures and participates in joint ventures. In an effort to enhance its Smart Industrial operating model by adding technology and talent, during fiscal year 2022, the Company acquired majority ownership in Kreisel Electric Inc., which designs and manufactures high-durability battery packs and high-powered charging stations; a 40 percent equity method investment in GUSS Automation LLC, a producer of semi-autonomous orchard and vineyard sprayers; and LGT, LLC (Light), which specializes in depth sensing and camera-based perception for autonomous vehicles.
Acquisitions and joint ventures that John Deere has entered, or may enter in the future, may involve significant challenges and risks, including that the acquisitions or joint ventures do not advance John Deere’s business strategy or fail to produce satisfactory returns on investment. John Deere may encounter difficulties in integrating acquisitions with its operations, applying internal control processes to these acquisitions, managing strategic investments, and assimilating new capabilities to meet the future needs of John Deere’s businesses. Integrating acquisitions is often costly and may require significant attention from management. Furthermore, John Deere may not realize all the anticipated benefits of acquisitions or joint ventures, or the realized benefits may be significantly delayed. While our evaluation of any potential transaction includes business, legal, and financial due diligence with the goal of identifying and evaluating the material risks involved, these due diligence reviews may not identify all of the issues necessary to accurately estimate the cost and potential risks of a particular acquisition or joint venture, including potential exposure to regulatory sanctions resulting from an acquisition target’s or joint venture partner’s previous activities or costs associated with any quality issues with an acquisition target's or joint venture’s products or services.
John Deere may decide to divest businesses if it determines any such divestiture is in the best interests of its shareholders, and joint ventures may be terminated at or before their stated expiration, such as the joint venture between the Company and Hitachi, which the Company agreed to voluntarily terminate in fiscal 2021. Divestitures of businesses or dissolutions of joint ventures may involve significant challenges and risks, including failure to advance our business strategy, costs or disruptions to John Deere, and negative effects on John Deere’s product offerings, which may adversely affect John Deere’s business, results of operations, and financial condition. Divestitures of businesses or dissolutions of joint ventures may result in ongoing financial or legal involvement in the divested business through indemnifications or other financial arrangements, such as retained liabilities, which could affect the Company’s future financial results.
John Deere’s ability to understand its customers’ specific preferences and requirements, and to develop, manufacture, and market products that meet customer demand, could significantly affect its business results.
John Deere’s ability to match new product offerings to diverse global customers’ anticipated preferences for different types and sizes of equipment and various equipment features and functionality, at affordable prices, is critical to its success. This requires a thorough understanding of John Deere’s existing and potential customers on a global basis, particularly in growth markets such as Argentina, Brazil, and India. Failure to deliver quality products that meet customer needs at competitive prices ahead of competitors could have a significant adverse effect on John Deere’s business.
Customer preferences in the markets served by John Deere could change as these markets transition to less carbon-intensive business models. Ongoing social and regulatory focus on sustainability and the impact of policies and consumer preferences on the construction, forestry, and agriculture industries mean that change is imminent. As regulations and social pressure drive change, John Deere must be proactive in monitoring trends and developing alternatives and enhancements that complement our product offerings. For example, the Company may be unable to keep up with the rising demand for electric agriculture, turf, and construction equipment.
The development of alternative farming techniques, carbon sequestration technologies, and new low-carbon biofuels, could change farmers’ business models and equipment needs. If John Deere fails to properly develop or invest in new technologies to meet changing customer demands, John Deere will be at risk of losing potential sources of revenue, which could affect the Company’s future financial results.
The inability to accurately forecast customer demand for products and services, and to adequately manage inventory, could adversely affect our operating results.
To ensure adequate inventory supply, John Deere must forecast inventory needs and expenses and place orders sufficiently in advance with suppliers and contract manufacturers. These forecasts are based on estimates of future demand for particular products and services. Failure to accurately forecast our needs may result in unmet market demand, parts shortages, manufacturing delays, increased costs, or excess inventory. In response to recent supply chain constraints, John Deere has worked with suppliers to ensure optimum inventory levels. John Deere’s ability to accurately forecast demand could be affected by many factors, including changes in customer demand for John Deere’s products and services, changes in demand for the products and services of competitors, unanticipated changes in general market conditions, and the weakening of economic conditions or customer confidence in future economic conditions. If the forecasts used to manage inventory are not accurate, John Deere has in the past and may in the future experience excess inventory levels, shortage of available products, or reduced manufacturing efficiencies.
If John Deere is unable to deliver precision technology and agricultural solutions to its customers, it could affect its business, results of operations, and financial condition.
John Deere’s approach to precision technology involves hardware and software, guidance, connectivity and digital solutions, automation and machine intelligence, and autonomy. To create and maintain a competitive differentiation through precision technology solutions, John Deere needs to successfully develop and introduce new precision technology solutions that improve profitability and sustainability for customers through the production systems. John Deere may make significant investments in research and development, connectivity solutions, data security for precision technology solutions, and employee training. These investments may not produce solutions that provide the desired results for customers’ profitability or sustainability outcomes. If John Deere is not able to deliver precision technology solutions with differentiated features and functionality, customers may not adopt technology solutions, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s reputation and business.
Changes to or reallocation of radio frequency (RF) bands could disrupt or degrade the reliability of John Deere’s high precision augmented Global Positioning System (GPS) or other RF technology, which could impair John Deere’s ability to develop and market GPS- and RF-based technology solutions as well as significantly reduce agricultural and construction customers’ profitability.
John Deere’s current and planned integrated agricultural business and equipment management systems, as well as its fleet management telematics solutions for construction equipment, depend upon the use of RF signals. These signals include, but are not limited to, GPS signals, other GPS-like satellite signals, augmented GPS services, and other RF technologies that link equipment, operations, owners, dealers, and technicians. These radio services depend on frequency allocations governed by international and national government agencies. Any international or national reallocation of frequency bands, including frequency bands segmentation and band spectrum sharing, or other modifications concerning the regulation of frequency bands, could significantly disrupt or degrade the utility and reliability of John Deere’s GPS-based products, which could negatively affect John Deere’s ability to develop and market GPS-based technology solutions. For John Deere’s agricultural customers, the inability to use high-precision augmented GPS signals or other RF signals could result in lower crop yields and higher equipment maintenance, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and wage costs. For construction customers, disrupting GPS or RF applications could result in higher fuel and equipment maintenance costs, as well as lower construction design and project management efficiencies. These cost increases could significantly reduce customers’ profitability and demand for John Deere products.
John Deere’s ability to adapt in highly competitive markets could affect its business, results of operations, and financial condition.
John Deere operates in a variety of highly competitive global and regional markets. John Deere competes worldwide with a number of other manufacturers and distributors that produce and sell similar products. In addition, John Deere’s industry is attracting non-traditional competitors, including technology-focused companies and start-up ventures. John Deere competes on the basis of product performance, innovation and quality, distribution, customer service, and price. Aggressive pricing or other strategies pursued by competitors, unanticipated product or manufacturing delays, or John Deere’s failure to price its products competitively could adversely affect its business, results of operations, and financial condition.
John Deere relies on a network of independent dealers to manage the distribution of its products. If dealers are unsuccessful with their sales and business operations, it could have an adverse effect on overall sales and revenue.
John Deere relies on the capability of its dealers to develop and implement effective sales plans to create demand among purchasers for the equipment and related products and services that the dealers purchase from John Deere. If John Deere’s dealers are not
successful in these endeavors, then John Deere will be unable to grow its sales and revenue, which would have an adverse effect on its financial condition. In addition, the dealer channel’s ability to support and service precision technology solutions and emerging power solutions may affect customers’ acceptance and adoption rates of these products.
Dealers may have trouble funding their day-to-day cash flow needs and paying their obligations due to adverse business conditions resulting from negative economic effects or other factors. Dealers may exit or John Deere may seek to terminate relationships with certain dealers if they are unable to meet customer needs. The unplanned loss of any John Deere dealers could lead to inadequate market coverage, negative customer impressions of John Deere, and may adversely impact John Deere’s ability to collect receivables that are associated with that dealer.
ENVIRONMENTAL, CLIMATE, AND WEATHER RISKS
Unfavorable weather conditions or natural calamities that reduce agricultural production and demand for agriculture and turf equipment could directly and indirectly affect John Deere’s business.
Poor or unusual weather conditions, particularly during the planting and early growing season, can significantly affect the purchasing decisions of John Deere’s customers, particularly the purchasers of agriculture and turf equipment. The timing and quantity of rainfall are two of the most important factors in agricultural production. Insufficient levels of rain prevent farmers from planting new crops and may cause growing crops to die or result in lower yields. Excessive rain or flooding can prevent planting from occurring at optimal times and may cause crop loss through increased disease or mold growth. Temperature affects the rate of growth, maturity, and quality of crops. Temperatures outside normal ranges can also cause crop failure or decreased yields and may also affect disease incidence. Natural calamities such as regional floods, hurricanes or other storms, droughts, diseases, and pests, either as a physical effect of climate change or otherwise, have had and could in the future have significant negative effects on agricultural and livestock production. The resulting negative impact on farm income can strongly affect demand for agricultural equipment and the financial condition and credit risk of John Deere’s dealers and customers. Adverse weather conditions in a particular geographic region, particularly during the important spring selling season, may adversely affect sales of some turf equipment. Drought conditions can adversely affect sales of certain mowing equipment and unusually rainy weather can similarly cause lower sales volumes.
Governmental actions designed to address climate change and the emergence of new technologies and business models in connection with the transition to a lower-carbon economy could adversely affect John Deere and its customers.
There is global scientific consensus that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to alter the composition of Earth’s atmosphere in ways that are affecting and are expected to continue to affect the global climate. These considerations have led to new international, national, regional, and local legislative and regulatory responses. Various stakeholders, including legislators and regulators, shareholders, and non-governmental