Blog / / Gravely Re-Enters the Brush Mower Industry

Gravely Re-Enters the Brush Mower Industry

As we continue to expand our power equipment offerings, one door that has opened for us within the industry is the brush mower sector with the Ovis 40 RC. This machine comes to us from AriensCo GmbH, formerly known as AS-Motor in Germany.

AriensCo COO & President Nicholas Ariens, took some time to sit down and chat with us about AS-Motor, acquiring the business, and the latest equipment being manufactured overseas.

Who is AS-Motor and how did AriensCo begin their relationship with them?

N.A. AS-Motor is a great family business that the Ariens Company acquired back in 2021, and they have been a fixture in the German market for over 60 years. We’ve had relationships with the family going back many years. We were just two family businesses in outdoor power equipment that got to know each other and in 2020, the family reached out and was exploring a sale.

So, we took that opportunity to buy a very strong brand in Germany with great German-engineered and German-built products. AS-Motor is known for high grass and slope mowing products that have served the European market well for decades.

Why was AriensCo and AS-Motor a good fit together?

N.A. First and foremost, the culture. When you visit people at the facility, it feels like going to one of our U.S. facilities. Everyone knows each other, we all get along. So, the cultures were really similar and that was a great fit.

Also, the product quality is very similar to what we do here. They’re all high-quality, really durable, German-built products. Lastly, if you just look at the footprint of what they had and what we needed in Europe, it checked every other strategic box. It was just overall a great fit.

What made this acquisition a priority for AriensCo?

N.A. We knew there was a lot of opportunity for growth in Europe. We struggled with growing as fast as we wanted through third-party distribution in the major markets in Europe, specifically Germany and France.

When AS-Motor became available, we were able to then get direct sales footprints in those areas alongside a very strong brand that had an established dealer network with great margins, great products, and a great team.

It just checked every strategic box for us. We also knew that their products were really interesting. Some of them may not fit for the U.S., but some could and that's why it's taken us a couple of years to establish the business as Ariens GmbH and begin to grow with the Ariens product through their sales team. Now we have the opportunity to look at products that can come to the U.S. as well.

When you say that we have the opportunity to bring products from Germany to the U.S., what machines are you specifically referring to?

N.A. The Ovis (Ovis 40 RC) has come over to the U.S. That's a product that was just launched in 2023. So, it's been an exciting new launch for the team in Germany. They always had an eye on the U.S. market with this machine because it’s a heavy-duty slope, remote-controlled mower that can take slopes of up to 50°.

The mower did great in Europe, and we think it's going to do really well in the U.S. also because there’s a tremendous demand for the ability to cut steep slopes without someone having to mow it themselves.

Who is the ideal owner of a remote-controlled mower like the Ovis 40 RC?

N.A. The target audience would be municipalities, landscapers, and potentially large acreage owners that have difficult slopes to cut, but predominantly pro users, commercial users that have a property with a slope that they don’t want one of their employees operating on.

Why choose a Gravely remote-controlled mower over a competitor?

N.A. Customers would choose a Gravely remote-controlled mower because it's not a new product, meaning we've had it in the market in Europe for about a year. We know exactly what it's meant to do.

The mower comes from an engineering group in Germany that has cut long grass on slopes for about 50 years. This engineering team knew what they were doing, and we have a lot of built-in knowledge from Germany that went into designing this product. So, we're not new to the space when it comes to design, how the product is built, or the target it was aimed at.

I think the robustness of the product feels second to none. The flail mowing system is a big deal and basically, if you can knock it over, it'll cut it. We went this way because this was the most obvious path for our German engineering team in terms of executing the task at hand. So, the machines are being built in Germany and then we’re shipping them to the U.S.

Every single product is tested in-house at the end of the assembly line, packaged, and sent to the U.S. for final distribution. We'll continue to expand that lineup throughout both the U.S. and Germany.

Hearing from AriensCo COO & President Nicholas Ariens.

Learn more about the Ovis 40 RC here.