Waukesha-based Generac Holdings Inc. is expanding its offerings into commercial lawn and garden products in an effort to meet the needs of customers who have dealt with fluctuations in the oil and gas market.
The company, known primarily for its portable and standby generators, is launching its Generac Pro next week at The Rental Show in New Orleans. In addition to existing products like portable generators and pressure washers, the line includes the addition of brush mowers, graders, wood splitters, graders, chippers and stump grinders.
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Derik Gatzke, Generac vice president of sales for retail, said that as oil and gas markets have fluctuated in recent years, Generac has sought ways to create a stronger relationship with rental customers who buy products to serve that market.
“It all kind of came back to this professional lawn and garden space,” Gatzke said of conversations with those customers.
Generac’s commercial and industrial business accounted for 38.6 percent of revenue in 2016, down from 44.6 percent in 2014. Beyond generators, the segment also sells temporary lighting and heating equipment.
The new line uses the company’s G-Force engines, which were originally designed for generator applications and used on XC series portable generators.
“The many retailers, contractors and rental companies we’ve spoken with in developing the Generac Pro line have told us they want a high-quality, high-value alternative to Honda-powered products,” Gatzke said. “We believe powering the Generac Pro line with Generac G-Force engines meets that need.”
Gatzke said Generac Pro will be going into a “space that we know, but with new products” and the company feels like now is the right time to go after it. It will primarily be distributed through rental channels, but could also go to market through contractor and industrial suppliers or possibly Home Depot’s professional offerings.
The majority of the Generac Pro line will be manufactured in the company’s Jefferson facility. The plan is to launch the line in the summer, but Gatzke said there are already roadmaps for additional products to launch in summer 2019.
The development of the line has taken around 36 months with a particular emphasis over the last year, Gatzke said.
“It’s not something you can do in three to five months,” he said.