A look at the machine industry reveals a lot of businesses beginning with modest operations. Small workshops become large scale enterprises, and garage inventors become industry leaders. This is exactly how the Masport company came into existence, and started quietly as an independent foundry and manufacturing firm in 1910.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the family owned firm was first known as City Engineering, Ltd. and was under the ownership of Reuben Porter, Harold Mason, and Edwin Jones. The company"s modern name was a simple combination of Porter and Mason"s surnames, but this did not happen for several years. Instead, the company was started, added its foundry and vacuum pump manufacturing, expanded and changed premises, and then gave itself a new name, Mason and Porter, Ltd. in 1915.
At this time, the 1920s, the company was establishing itself as a leading machine supplier to the farming industry. However, it was also demonstrating its technical capabilities and innovations throughout even these early years. As an example, the firm built the "Miss Masport" to race in the 1922 New Zealand Power Boating Championship, and it went on to win this first competition. (Masport 100 Years, 2010).
During the 20s and 30s, the firm began to steer its activities towards mowing equipment, and in 1929, Masport secretly built a prototype for its "Rapid" lawnmower in a workshop hidden next door to the main facilities. This led to the release of the company"s first hand mowers and in 1938, the company was able to launch New Zealand"s first petrol (gas) powered lawnmower.
Alternate product research did not diminish due to the emphasis on lawn mowers, however, and in the early 1930s, the company began making refrigerators as well as other products. In 1938 Mason and Porter was among the first to employ large groups of women, calling them their "G" Force, and hiring them to handle painting and light assembly.
Naturally, World War II caused a halt in the firm"s traditional work and Masport was a manufacturing resource of munitions throughout the entire conflict. When the war came to an end, Mason and Porter was able to get back to work, but now it considered farm machines, ride-on tractors, and lawnmowers its core business.
This focus on specific machinery has provided the firm with a sterling reputation for engineering in the lawn care and agricultural equipment industry that continues until today.
The Modern Masport
In 1945, the company was able to get back up to post-war production speed, and it has kept on going since, including expanding offshore (beyond the New Zealand and Australian markets). Innovating and introducing many new models and systems, the company broke the $2 million earnings mark in 1966, but by 1978 it had exceeded a staggering $30 million in external sales.
Today it has a presence in more than forty countries and makes "a more affordable range of products under the Morrison Brand" (Masport.com, 2014). Regardless of which brand, the overall Masport reputation is for strong and rugged gear. Designed to endure harsh conditions, it is a product known for value whether at the high end or economy price point.
The company has continued to grow and strengthen its reputation for its:
* Patio heaters
It also has a strong network of commercial partners with whom Masport seeks to develop and expand a "seamless distribution system that delivers quality outdoor products to a receptive market." (Masport, 2014)
To ensure that quality is a hallmark of any Masport or Morrison product, the company offers impressive warranties. Their walk behind mowers have four year consumer and one year commercial warranties, and all of their other gear comes with a full two year warranty plan.
Additionally, there is no need to register products for warranties to apply, and a buyer need only show proof of purchase to validate their coverage. This shows that Masport stands behind any of the products it makes, and is willing to extend such lengthy warranties on equipment that is exposed to harsh conditions, irregular upkeep or treatment, and even left outdoors through all seasons.
For more than one hundred years Masport has demonstrated a commitment to quality and superiority of product, and is continuing that mission today.
Masport.com. Mission Statement. Masport.com. 2014. http://www.masport.com/about/mission-statement
Masport100Years.com. Masport Limited. Masport100Years.com. 2010. http://www.masport100years.com/