New Holland N.V.

It shouldn't be too difficult finding the offices of farm machinery maker New Holland since their address is Schiphol Boulevard 217, Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands. Where does this address lead me? To the 11-story World Trade Center building located inside the airport grounds and across the street from the main terminal.

New Holland, with sales of several billion dollars, is a global player. I'm expecting they'll occupy most of the building or quite a few floors. Imagine my surprise upon stepping off the elevator on the 10th floor and finding nothing of the sort. The floor is filled with a variety of companies occupying one-room offices and New Holland's is at the end of a hall. It's 4:25 PM and the door is locked. I knock and knock but no one answers. At the other end of the hall is an office for Finnair, Finland's national airline. I ask if they know anything about New Holland-thinking maybe they've moved. The guys in Finnair say they never see anybody there except maybe once a month. Hmm, methinks the company is doing what companies do in Luxembourg-register or incorporate in the country for tax or legal benefits. Fiat is New Holland's majority owner and maybe they keep a token office here to make a play off the name New Holland being in Holland.

I'm sure my advance letter sent a month earlier was forwarded to somewhere or someone. A company with class would have contacted me and mentioned there being no one at this address.