In a one-on-one phone interview with Bob Crain, Senior Vice President and General Manager for AGCO North America, he confirmed that AGCO Corporation will cease production of its orange line of AGCO brand tractors.
"Change is difficult. I recognize this is an emotional subject and change brings that out," Crain says. "At the end of the day, we [AGCO management] are extremely confident in these tough decisions, and that this is the right decision for the medium- and long-term."
The AGCO branded tractors will continue to be produced through 2010, with a final timeline expected before the end of the year and before production will have to switch to meet Tier 4 emissions standards. The company says it will focus its resources on engineering and marketing Challenger and Massey Ferguson branded products in North America.
Crain says he understands the emotional feedback from dealers and customers.
"I have first-hand experience in brands changing," he says. "My grandfather started one of the first Ford Tractor dealerships in Mississippi. But it's a fact that in the past 30 to 40 years, this industry has been all about change."
Established in 1990, AGCO Corporation has grown through a series of more than 24 acquisitions. Four years ago the company launched a "cornerstone" brand approach to consolidate brands under the AGCO, Challenger and Massey Ferguson names in North America. In the past year, AGCO said it will focus on four brands worldwide: Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra.