Gary A. Morgan, who stepped into the position yesterday, said he intends to boost the company's share of the "zero-turn" mower market to 25 percent from the current 8 to 10 percent by adding to the company's distribution network.
If the company hits the target, it would need to add about 80 workers to the 160 now employed at its headquarters and manufacturing plant west of Indianapolis.
It's "an ambitious growth plan," said Morgan, who most recently headed North American operations for farm equipment maker New Holland Ag.
Dixie Chopper now makes about 10,000 of the estimated 120,000 zero-turn mowers sold nationwide each year. The mowers pivot, allowing them to turn on a dime.
Morgan is taking over duties held by founder and Chairman Art Evans. Evans, 66, plans to devote more time to research and development.
Dixie Chopper is owned by Magic Circle Corp., also headquartered in Coatesville.