440 BRIDGES GAP FOR MASSEYBy Charlie McCarron
MASSEY FERGUSON has announced the launch of its new 4400 series tractors. This latest offering completes an 18-month programme from the company, which has seen the introduction of no fewer than 40 new MF models since April 2003.
The firm says Western European tractor sales for the 81hp to 125hp bracket average £1.08bn ($2bn) a year. It is this power sector that it is targeting with the new 74hp to 98hp 4400 tractors.
“The 4400-series is intended to bridge the gap in our tractor line-up which currently exists between the MF 2400 utility and MF 5400 tractors,” says Campbell Scott, brand development manager for Massey Ferguson.
“The new range is designed for the small livestock and mixed farm. With a maximum load rating of 3.5t, the front axle makes the tractors ideal for loader work.
“A factor which is further reinforced by the fitment of a left-hand mechanical shuttle,” adds Mr Scott.
The 4400-series are to be built at the Valtra factory in Finland, and will share the same platform as the recently launched Valtra A-Series (FW, Oct 10).
Previously Agco, which also owns Fendt, Challenger, Valtra and MF, had insisted all of its product lines would remain separate and clearly differentiated.
But recently, MF tractors have started to use Fendt-built transmissions and Sisu engines made by Valtra. The 4400-series is the first true common-platform tractor from Agco and signifies a marked change in policy.
“Product platform sharing is an effective way of utilising parent company Agco”s production and distribution chain,” says Declan Hayden, Massey Ferguson”s vice-president of marketing.
“Platform sharing is set to continue in the future and although the new MF 4400 tractors and the Valtra A-Series share a common platform, we will continue to ensure there are unique product features to differentiate each brand.”