Spanish Conquest

A pattern will surely emerge if you examine enough companies that sell and support Ariens outdoor power equipment. Family-owned and -operated businesses are often fueling and supporting the brand’s global growth. These companies provide hands-on experiences for Ariens customers that put a premium on supporting long-term business relationships.

Such is the case with Yaros, a new Ariens distributor in the Iberian Peninsula. Eduard Rodríguez started the company just over a decade ago, and with his family on board, Yaros has already become one of Spain and Portugal’s largest outdoor power equipment distributors. The Besalú-based company supports 23 equipment dealers in the region and has aggressive plans to add nearly 25 more in the future.
CEO of Yaros, Eduard Rodriguez, with his son and co-worker, Gerard Rodriguez Grau.
Yaros forged a deal with AriensCo in 2020 to bring Ariens equipment to Spain and Portugal. During these last three years, Yaros has been working hard to promote the full range of Ariens Lawn and Snow products, including both residential and commercial models, to dealers across the region. This effort is boosting the visibility of Ariens in Europe and helping to fuel the expansion of zero-turn lawn mowers across the continent.

“Yaros is entering a new chapter, together with help and support from both my family and Ariens,” Rodríguez said. “Partnering with a largely known and credible equipment manufacturer is a great place to kick off this new era. Ariens is the largest company that we do business with, and we plan to continue expanding the acclaimed brand name across all of Spain and Portugal.”

In addition to its distribution efforts, Yaros is building a large warehouse that will serve as the Ariens Academy in Spain, where dealers will learn about Ariens equipment and participate in hands-on training. The warehouse will also include service facilities, a large parts inventory and demonstration grounds for dealers to test drive mowers.

“The partnership with AriensCo has reflected a huge investment for Yaros,” said Massimo Caner, international sales manager at AriensCo. “The Rodríguez family has shown tremendous excitement for working with AriensCo, and Yaros is expanding both its staff and facilities to further support the growth of Ariens in the region. AriensCo will be there to collaborate and support the company throughout this endeavor.”  

A shifting landscape  

Eduard Rodríguez founded Yaros in 2011, after years of working in the lawn and garden industry. He started at age 19 in 1986 and gained valuable experience working in various roles, including leading a lawn and garden division at an industrial company. This prepared him to launch Yaros, where he operates as CEO. His son, Gerard Rodríguez Grau, leads the company’s Ariens division. Eduard’s daughter, Berta Rodríguez Grau, also works at the company part-time.

Yaros’ headquarters in Besalú is in northeastern Catalonia, Spain, which provides great access to the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. With 19 employees, the company distributes gardening and agricultural machinery, and represents thousands of global brands. Gerard has traveled throughout the region to visit dealers and promote Ariens equipment, highlighting its global reputation for durable, well-designed products.

“We pride ourselves on delivering quality service, and we guarantee the fast delivery of equipment and parts in Spain and Portugal,” Grau said. “Because we have such close proximity to the AriensCo facility in the U.K., our machine deliveries and response times are expedited, and our dealers are better connected.”

Grau says that Yaros is seeing rapid change in its European market. A generational shift is occurring at equipment dealers and lawn care companies across Spain. Owners in their late 50s and 60s are preparing to retire, and children in their early 20s and 30s are preparing to take over. This creates an opportunity to embrace new technologies and explore other innovations, which is reflected in a growing interest for both zero-turns lawn mowers and electric equipment.

“As soon as people test drive a zero-turn mower, they’re sold. They realize they're quicker than the average tractor, they help to complete more jobs in less time and they are more cost-efficient,” he explained. “This has tremendous appeal to government municipalities, too. They are thinking about the future, which is zero-turns.”

Yaros has placed particular emphasis on these municipalities, believing they will remain at the forefront in acquiring new lawn and garden power equipment, due to both their efficiency needs and emissions reduction strategies. The company is collaborating with its dealer partners to arrange meetings with government officials and educate them on new products. These meetings sometimes include local landscaping companies that work with the municipality.

Yaros uses these opportunities to promote Ariens zero-turns, including those that are battery-powered.

“We highlight Ariens ZENITH E electric zero-turn mowers because of their flexibility and swappable batteries. Landscapers can simply exchange batteries as opposed to charging them overnight,” Grau said. “This is the only electric mower that allows landscapers to work all day without fail. It will enable municipalities to become more efficient and reduce their emissions.”

Caner said landscaping companies are realizing the potential that zero-turns hold, too.

“Landscapers must understand that there’s an alternative way to work besides the traditional cutting and collecting of the grass with a tractor. With a zero-turn, you can simply cut then leave the grass on the ground,” he said. “The zero-turn mower is the fastest way to do it. They are quick to maneuver and operate faster.”  

A European touch

Caner says that the ability to deliver American-engineered products with a European touch is a unique differentiator for Yaros. The products reflect AriensCo’s rich heritage and quality, and dealers can work with a distributor that understands the unique needs of customers in the region.

“Yaros and its dealer partners benefit from a more European approach to doing business,” he explained. “That’s not to say it’s a better approach, just different. Europe is not just one country — it’s a group of different cultures, languages and lifestyles. Yaros can deliver native communication strategies, as well as an alternate understanding of the local market and its structure.”

Yaros focuses on a human-centric company philosophy that prioritizes relationships, and it's reflected in its business processes. Yaros has a welcoming “terrazza,” an outdoor rooftop, that customers can visit and spend time with the distributor, and the company is eager to visit dealers on their own turf.

“We emphasize personal visits to our dealers to fully understand their business, region, challenges and goals,” Grau said. “Our dedication to satisfying customers’ needs is the same as AriensCo’s. The philosophy is win-win — the customer needs to make money, of course, but we want them to enjoy working with Yaros and AriensCo.”

By maintaining its current customer-service excellence, Yaros foresees continued success and a growing brand awareness for both companies across its product market.

“Our investment in AriensCo has been nothing short of rewarding in the brief time we’ve worked together. We foresee a bright future ahead,” Rodríguez concluded.

By Julia Shrader

12/01/2023 | Spanish Conquest

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