19 June 1998
AGCO warns Euro is crucial

AGCO Corporation – the parent of Massey Ferguson in the UK – warned that future investment in its Coventry tractor plant depended on the Government acting on the strength of Sterling and joining the single European currency.

Robert J Ratcliffe, AGCO chairman and chief executive, said the company had already suffered from the strength of Sterling because the British end of its Massey Ferguson subsidiary was a major exporter.

The company is already looking at re-sourcing some of its components to offset the damage caused by Sterling. However, John Shumejda, president and chief operating officer, said this would not happen overnight.

Earlier this year, the MF plant at Coventry, which employs about 2,400 people, went on a shorter working week because of reduced demand at home and abroad for its range of small- to medium-sized tractors.

Ratcliffe made it clear the company was on the acquisition trail. The Scotsman says Claas, Valmet and Kverneland are possible targets.

Ratcliffe said total worldwide farm equipment sales were estimated to be $27 billion. John Deere came out on top with 26% market share, followed by New Holland with 17%, Case 13% and AGCO 12 %. Other manufacturers accounted for $8.2bn.

  • The Scotsman 19/06/98 page 31