The Making of the Farm Jeep – Part 4

by Clint Dixon

 

Chapter 2

No sooner had production of the Monroe Lift began, than​​ photos​​ began to appear in​​ sales literature​​ that​​ clearly showcased​​ Ferguson plows attached to​​ and being pulled by​​ the Universal Jeep.​​ Willys-Overland, however,​​ never​​ officially​​ acted upon the earlier reports that it was​​ slated to become an approved​​ sub-distributor for Ferguson implements. This is not surprising considering the recent split between​​ Ferguson and Ford during July​​ of​​ the previous summer​​ in​​ 1947.​​ 

Rebounding from the split, Ferguson was​​ well into planning the production of his own tractor. Needing implements to sell alongside of this new tractor,​​ he was holding a tight grip on his implement patents and the exclusive binding agreements he had with the actual vendors who​​ had​​ produced the implements and/or parts​​ for​​ use with the​​ Ford.​​ Monroe​​ executives were​​ undeterred. They had another plan that assured they would not have to rely upon​​ Willys,​​ or even Ferguson,​​ to supply implements to attach to their Lift.​​ The​​ Monroe​​ Auto Equipment Company​​ took​​ the reins​​ and established​​ itself​​ as the sole implement distributor for Willys through​​ the purchase of​​ a new subsidiary.

On December 27, 1947,​​ Monroe​​ purchased​​ the​​ Newgren​​ Company​​ with​​ the new acquisition​​ thus​​ becoming a subsidiary of Monroe.1​​ Founders​​ George Newlin and Henry Green stayed on with Newgren as president and vice president, respectfully.​​ With the​​ new​​ purchase Monroe immediately gained an established​​ source of farm implements. With that came a well-defined​​ dealer network as well as a list of suppliers to actually produce the equipment. Nearly all of these suppliers were the very same vendors who were now in the uncomfortable position of supplying​​ parts and complete​​ implements, not only to Newgren, but also to Ferguson and the​​ to the​​ newly created Dearborn implement division of Ford Motors. It was a wild dash for these vendors to circumvent the existing Ferguson patents and mutual agreements while keeping up with the three-way demand.2​​