Outdoor power equipment maker Husqvarna Professional Products will discontinue manufacturing and selling products under the Yazoo|Kees brand name by the end of 2011.
"The decision to discontinue the Yazoo|Kees brand is part of our brand rationalization strategy within the Husqvarna Group," says John Marchionda, vice president of Marketing, Husqvarna.
Husqvarna will continue to produce similar products under both the Dixon and Husqvarna brands.
Husqvarna will continue to process warranty claims and make available service parts for an extended period of time.
History of Yazoo-Kees
Frederick Daniel Kees began producing husking hooks and pegs on Nov. 23, 1874 and did good business with settlers to the U.S. West, Kees also repaired firearms, sewing machines, and mowers while manufacturing his own products in a back room workshop. Kees opened a manufacturing plant in 1910.
By 1963 the company was producing Kees Lawn and Garden Equipment. Its product line included the Kees Krawler – a self-propelled sprinkler that used a garden hose as a track and its own water pressure for locomotion - and the Kees Garden Tool Set.
In 1969 Kees released the Kees Kaster, a broadcast seeder delivering up to five times the coverage of conventional spreaders.
In 1976 Kees entered the commercial mower market with a 21-inch steel deck mower. This side-discharge unit included a grass collector and was especially well-accepted in the rental market.
In 1977, 36-inch and 48-inch intermediate walk behind mowers were introduced and further established Kees in the market.
In 1986, Kees created its first 60-inch rider by adding a two point hitch and a sulky.
In the early 1990s, Kees focused its efforts on the commercial mowing market and grew the business significantly.
In 1997, F.D. Kees was purchased by Yazoo Power Equipment of Jackson, Mississippi to create Yazoo/Kees.
Yazoo Power Equipment had been created with the purchase of a concept high wheel mower in 1945, and in 1959 Yazoo pioneered the first out-front rotary riding mower, the YR-60 (Yazoo Rider-60-inch).
1999, Yazoo-Kees was acquired by Husqvarna.
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