The John Deer units you see at Lows And Home Depot are made in China junk with the John deer name on them….
Actually, that's not true... All John Deere mowers are made in Horicon, Wisconsin.. They're not made with the same quality of transmissions or engines that the upper end machines are made with, but a model that's sold at a John Deere dealership is the same machine that's at HD and Lowes..
I've got a buddy who's been a John Deere salesman for years and I got this info straight from him.. He's not one who holds back, and we've been friends for almost 30 years.. I asked him about this when they started pumping the stuff at box stores, and his reply was that while it sorta sucks that they're selling them at box stores, and that dealerships still have to service them, even though they weren't sold there..
His attitude is that he wished they were all sold there at HD and Lowes.. He'd much rather spend time with a guy who's buying a $75,000 tractor or $300,000 combine, than someone who can't decide which $2500 lawn tractor he wants.. Commission on a tractor is a touch better..
The low end mowers have cheaper engines, such as a Briggs and Stratton engine made in Mexico, rather than a more expensive Kohler engine, but they still are all made in the same place.. Oddly enough, they're all sorta based out of the Milwaukee area, with Briggs, Kohler, and the JD Horicon plant all being within an hour or so of Milwaukee..