Machinery Journal: Factory Expansion For AGCO Tractors

March 11, 2011 10:12 PM

Factory Expansion for AGCO Tractors

AGCO 072Before the end of 2011, high-horsepower Challenger and Massey Ferguson wheeled tractors will roll off the line at the AGCO factory in Jackson, Minn. The announcement was made at the company's
national dealer meeting in January.

"This announcement actually kicked off our meeting," says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. "This is one of the many things our company is doing to get closer to the North American customer and dealer."

He says the manufacturing move will benefit North American dealers and farmers in two ways: more specific configurations will be available and there will be shorter delivery times from the factory. Previously, the Challenger MT600C Series and Massey Ferguson 8600 Series had a minimum 30- to 60-day wait for delivery from Beauvais, France.

The manufacturing footprint in Jackson will be expanded by about 75,000 sq. ft. Currently, the factory produces Challenger track and articulated four-wheel-drive tractors, as well as application equipment, such as floaters and self-propelled sprayers.

"This facility has an approximate 50-year history manufacturing agricultural equipment," Crain says. "Just about everyone at that factory is tied to agriculture, and you can’t put a price on what it means to have every employee understand the expectations of our customers and dealers."

The public announcement was made Jan. 27 in Jackson. More than 1,000 people attended, including the factory employees and local and state government officials.

An additional 100 workers are expected to be hired when the expansion is complete. Besides the increased manufacturing footprint, a 17,000 sq. ft. visitor’s center will also be constructed on-site.

The Jackson business began in 1963 when Ag-Chem Equipment was founded to distribute spraying equipment. In 2001, AGCO acquired Ag-Chem.

"This is just one example of the company’s continued commitment to success in serving the North American market," Crain says.

"As a company, we’re making record-high capital investments, and our research and development budget as a percentage of sales is industry-leading for many products," he adds. "In a recent meeting with customers and dealers, someone said, ‘This isn’t my father’s AGCO,’ and I took that as a compliment."

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