Since 1990, AGCO Corporation has grown exponentially through a series of more than 20 acquisitions. Two and a half years ago, the company pledged to switch its strategy to grow from within.
That strategy shined through during the February launch of the company's first designed-from-scratch tractor product targeted at North America. The three new row-crop tractors span the company's three brands of AGCO, Challenger and Massey Ferguson. Each series ranges from 205 PTO hp to 275 PTO hp.
The tractors were introduced to dealers on the floor of the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, where AGCO's international headquarters is located. Farmers had their first look at the tractors at the World Ag Expo and the National Farm Machinery Show. At both shows, company executives hosted a question-and-answer session about the new tractors.
Company leaders say the launch culminates a $50 million investment in the new tractors alone. Five years ago, that amount was AGCO's worldwide research and development total.
"We've invested in the research, development, marketing, distribution and dealer support to grow our business in North America," says company CEO Martin Richenhagen. "This year we'll spend more than $220 million in research and development, and this tractor launch is just the tip of the iceberg for what's to come from AGCO."
Mobile tractor show. To spread the word about the new series, the company designed a 53' trailer that will hit the road this summer.
The three tractor series are manufactured in Beauvais, France, but this tour will bring the development, manufacturing and tractors themselves to dealerships. The "Experience a Tractor Revolution" tour highlights the tractors' mechanical, comfort and utility features.
The tractors are different among the brands but are outfitted with several commonalities. The trailer will be adjusted for each dealer's brand, but three main topics will be highlighted for each stop: engine, transmission and cab.
The AGCO DT Series, Challenger MT600C Series and Massey Ferguson 8600 Series row-crop tractors are outfitted with a new engine design, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), new cab design and more. AGCO Sisu Power engines are the first in the ag industry to feature selective catalytic reduction (SCR). (For more on this topic, read Machinery Journal in the Mid-February 2009 issue of Farm Journal.)
All three brands of tractors are outfitted with CVT. AGCO's Fendt brand pioneered CVT, and today the company has more than 70,000 of the transmissions worldwide. In the traveling trailer, there is an active demonstration of a CVT to show how the technology functions.
At the other end of the trailer is a mounted cab like the ones featured on the new series. The cabs have 28% more room than previous models. The retractable steering column is paired with a 90° wheel tilt. The control armrest adjusts with the seat, and the monitor moves with the armrest for the best ergonomic layout regardless of the seat adjustment. On the roof, a solar panel collects energy to keep the tractor's battery charged.
In addition, the tour will feature information on AGCO's new AccuGuide2 system, videos from the tractor's development process and a video from the Sisu engine factory in Nokia, Finland.